The First Day: Things to Know

The big day is here – the first day at your new job or internship. Maybe you’ve made a shopping trip to fill your work wardrobe, or maybe you’ve mapped out how you’re going to get to work and how long it will take you. No matter how much you’ve prepared, though, inevitably you’re going to have some nerves. Going into a new environment where you (possibly) don’t know anyone and (maybe) don’t know exactly what will be expected of you is never going to be easy.

  That said, here are just a few things you should know before beginning your new job or internship:


  1. You won’t know everything. This seems kind of like common sense, right? But it’s important to remember that, as much as you should be confident in your abilities and believe in your qualifications for the position, you’re not going to know everything. You might be asked to perform a task and have no idea how to go about it – and that’s okay! Every new job or internship is a learning experience for everyone involved – even you!

  2. It’s okay to ask questions. Seriously – don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand something or need clarification. It’s hard, I know. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions because they don’t want to look like they don’t know what they’re doing, but it’s so worth it if it means you can improve your performance and learn something that you might not have figured out on your own.

  3. It’s important to talk to people. If you’re an introverted person, this might seem even scarier than starting a new job or internship. But it’s so, so important to build relationships with your coworkers and supervisor. Not only will you get great advice and feedback, it will be a lot less awkward around the office if you make time to get to know the people you’re working with, I promise.

  4. Stay busy. If you’re an intern, there might be some moments when you don’t really have a lot to do – not because there isn’t work to be done, but because you’re too new or don’t have the necessary qualifications to do the most pressing tasks. It’s never fun to feel like you don’t have any work to be doing, so make sure you’re keeping in contact with your supervisor(s) about additional tasks you can assist with.

  5. Always be learning. Whether it’s the work you’re doing, the meetings you attend, the emails you receive, or even just a conversation with a coworker, there are always new things to be learned in a new job or internship. Be open to learning new things and taking new opportunities if they come up – you never know where they might lead!

  While there are a lot of things you might be nervous about before beginning a new job or internship, it’s super important to remember that no one is expecting you to be perfect. There will, without a doubt, be a time of adjustment for everyone involved, so be flexible and be ready to learn a lot of new things!