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Success At Work

Preparing for your first day

Preparing for your first day

Congratulations on your new job! You have convinced the hiring manager of how your skills, competencies, values and experience will contribute to the role and to the organization. How can you contribute to the best of your ability? How can you set yourself up to benefit from this work experience? Some reflection and planning prior to your first day on the job will take you a long way toward realizing both of these goals.

Sign up for the Business Etiquette and Professionalism workshop to discover more tips in person.

Regardless of whether this is your first work experience, starting a new job is a major transition. Having a job gives you a chance to put into use what you have learned, build skills, develop your network and of course, earn an income - but it also brings many challenges and lifestyle changes. These changes can be overwhelming. No matter your experience, any new job can be tiring at the start. Everything is new and there is much to learn. You will also be meeting many new people. Plan for this transition by giving yourself permission to take as much leisure time and engaging in as much self-care as possible.

Aside from the obvious, such as confirming the location and start date and time, there are measures you can take prior to arriving. Consider coming up with a plan: determine what you want from this work experience then establish objectives and the steps (with contingency plans) you’ll need to take to get you there. Put them in writing. In a co-op or work-integrated learning experience, this plan may be framed as “learning objectives.” Some of the information you need to complete this task will be more readily available to you once you begin your job, but you can start to develop a basic plan before then.

University of Waterloo

Centre for Career Development