Starting work

Starting your first job can be exciting, while also making you feel anxious. 

Everything is new and there’s so much to do and learn!

Being well-prepared really helps to take the stress out of your first day. 

Here are some tips for starting your new job.

Understand the changes coming

Part of the anxiety around starting a new job is because of the changes you’ll need to make. It can help to anticipate what things will change so you can be mentally prepared.

It can be stuff like...

  • Change in routine, e.g. working hours or days you didn’t work before
  • Learning a new set of tasks, rules, expectations, and workplace etiquette
  • Having less structure, but more responsibility and accountability
  • Fitting other commitments (such as study or child care) around your work schedule
  • Finding a work-life balance with socialising, leisure time, self-care, etc.
  • Needing to move house to be closer to work

Before your first day

Make sure you get these things sorted before your first day, and everything should run smoothly.

Remember yourtown is here to help! Chat with your Job Placement Coach or Youth Worker in the lead-up to your first day.

  • Find out where the job is located. It might be different to where your interview took place! Work out your transport and timings.
  • Find out what the work hours are. Aim to arrive earlier than your start time, and make sure you know what hours are expected for your typical work week.
  • Find out what tools or equipment are provided or what you might need to bring along.
  • Work out what to wear. Find out if there is a uniform or dress code. If there is no specific uniform, make sure to dress to impress – first impressions can count!
  • Confirm your supervisor’s name or find out who to report to when you arrive on your first day. This may be someone you met at your job interview or it may be someone different.
  • Prepare lunch, snacks and a drink bottle. Don’t leave this to chance, as there may not be anywhere to purchase food close by. You can ask about the kitchen facilities and meal break options when you get there.
  • Print out any paperwork you’ve been asked to bring. You’ll generally need to fill in forms about a range of things, like tax and superannuation forms, bank details for your pay, and an employment contract.

On your first day at a new job

Here are some tactics that will help you hit the ground running:

  • Be positive and friendly – use your best communication skills to make a great first impression
  • Be organised – use a diary to write down tasks, meetings and deadlines; learn how to manage your time throughout the day to meet expectations
  • Take a notepad and pen – write down names, procedures, rules and tasks as this will help you remember important details
  • Ask questions – this is your opportunity to learn and make sure you’re doing everything right
  • Listen carefully – listening helps you learn as much as possible; take on any advice or tips you can get from experienced workers
  • Stay focused – save social media and personal calls for your lunch break or after work
  • Ask for feedback – at the end of the day, ask your employer how you went and if they have any advice or tips for day two!

Feeling anxious?

There’s a lot to think about when starting a new job, and this can sometimes make it stressful or overwhelming. This is very normal! Thankfully there are things you can to do manage it.

Check out our tips on how to manage the anxiety of job hunting and starting work

Making the transition work for you

Here are some extra things you can do to really get the most out of this new opportunity.

  • Try to be confident – Focus on your positives and strengths; you were hired because they thought you’d be great for the job!
  • Set goals – What do you want to achieve in this new job? Where would you like to be in 1 year? How will you get there? Who can help you and what might you need to learn?
  • Learn how to manage stress – Check out our Coping Strategies article for tips on de-stressing and looking after yourself.
  • Create a support team – Surround yourself with people who will support and guide you through this new adventure. If you’re a yourtown member, check back in with your Job Placement Coach or Youth Worker for more free support. uses cookies to improve our service and website. For the best browsing experience please accept this cookie request. 

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