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What New Hires Really Think About on Their First Day


Got a new job? Once the congratulations fade and the adrenalin rush is over, you’ll probably grapple with a few anticipatory nerves. Here’s what to expect from your first day on the job.

new job 

(Photo Credit: Jessica Mullen/Flickr)

1. Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork.

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Unless you’re performing manual labor — and sometimes even then — much of your first day will be spent filling out forms. You’re probably expecting some of this: after all, you have to get paid. But unless you’ve changed jobs in the past few years, you’ve probably forgotten just how much paperwork you’ll have to do in order to get set up. In fact, don’t be surprised if you don’t get much actual work done at all on your first day.

What you’ll be thinking: “Is there a person with my name who has a lengthy criminal record? Surely it shouldn’t take two forms of ID and a thumbprint just to get the keys to my filing cabinet.”

2. A (hopefully brief) sense of doubt.

Eric Chester at Reviving Work Ethic reminds us that employees are often in the dark as to why, exactly, their new employers picked them out of so many candidates. For that reason, he reminds employers, it’s important to communicate with new workers about why they’re so well-suited for the job.

What you’ll be thinking: “I really, really hope they didn’t make a mistake.”

3. A sense of disorientation.

At your last gig, you knew where everything was, from ice to staples. Now, you can barely find the bathroom. Give yourself some time. You’ll be oriented before you know it.

What you’ll be thinking: “OK, who do I need to impress in order to get a Diet Coke around here?”

Tell Us What You Think

Did you change jobs recently? Tell us about your first day. We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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