HOW TO STAY CALM & COLLECTED ON YOUR FIRST DAY OF WORK

The first day on your new job has arrived! You’re anxious, scared, and intimidated by more experienced employees. Everyone knows you’re a new graduate and the look of fear on your face clearly spells out “rookie”. There are ways to create an atmosphere that promotes business relationships and a positive first impression. Yes, even if you are fresh out of graduate school!

STRATEGIES TO STAY CALM & COLLECTED ON YOUR FIRST DAY OF WORK:

1. Keep your cool. Literally. No one likes to share an office with a sweaty and stinky co-worker. Although it may be nerve wrecking to start the “job of your dreams”, anticipate all possible scenarios by selecting comfortable and airy attire that fits your job position. This will keep you looking and feeling fresh.

2. Maintain your confidence. There are many employees, which can attest that longevity doesn’t always amount to a qualified employee or to better work performance.  There are new hires including graduates, which are just as skilled and perform better on the job than employees with seniority. Be confident in yourskills and area of expertise, knowing you have much to contribute to the company.

3. Don’t be intimidated to ask questions. Many times new employees want to be self-sufficient from day one, with the idea of not burdening others or delaying the work flow. In all truth, everyone expects new hires to have lots of questions and to go through a period of training. During this time mistakes may occur, but they can serve as a springboard for future success.  I’m not referring to negligence or lack of professional conduct, but rather to a general expectation that new hires are in a process of learning and becoming acquainted with the workplace.

4. Familiarize yourself with the work environment. Arrive a few minutes early and get acquainted with the work setting. For example, locate emergency exits, restrooms, employee lounge, meeting rooms, storage rooms, and employee login area. Becoming acquainted with your job setting is one less stressor that can be addressed early on in your work day. Some employees are privileged to attend orientation prior to the first day of work, yet regardless all employees can arrive a few minutes early and explore the environment.

5.  Greet everyone with a friendly attitude. For the most part people like the company of other positive individuals. There’s a lot to learn and mentally digest on the first day of work, and there may be little time left to interact with co-workers. Break time is a great opportunity to become acquainted with other employees in your workplace. 

Wishing you much success on your first day of work! 

TIPS TO BECOMING A MORNING PERSON

Throughout the day we experience fluctuating periods of increased alertness and sleepiness. For some individuals creativity and mental focus intensifies in the early morning, while others are more proficient in the evening. A person’s internal biological clock or circadian rhythm influences periods of wakefulness at various times of the day. Working against one’s internal biological clock can be challenging, particularly for employees who are most productive in the evening and hold daytime positions. Fortunately implementing a few strategies can yield positive results when seeking to increase morning productivity.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) comments further on the role of internal circadian rhythm and wakefulness:

The circadian rhythm dips and rises at different times of the day, so adults’ strongest sleep drive generally occurs between 2:00-4:00 am and in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00 pm, although there is some variation depending on whether you are a “morning person” or “evening person.”

Having adequate sleep each night is a good starting point to increase daytime energy. Allow a period of adjustment as your body adapts to a new sleep schedule. Also, avoid long naps even if the previous evening you slept fewer hours than desired. Limiting hour-long naps contributes to better sleep and increased restfulness at night. As noted by the NSF, “The sleepiness we experience during these circadian dips will be less intense if we have had sufficient sleep, and more intense when we are sleep deprived.” Recommended sleep hours vary depending on the individual’s age, lifestyle, and health needs. In general, adults should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Tips for Adjusting Your Biological Clock:

1. Get a good night’s rest and limit hour-long naps during the day.

2. Adhere to an exercise routine.

3. Limit consumption of caffeinated foods and beverages in the later afternoon and during the evening.

4. Develop a sleep schedule that’s suitable for your lifestyle and health needs.

5. Monitor times of the day when you are most alert and plan your workday accordingly. If possible, plan important work projects during times of the day when energy spikes. On the other hand, tedious tasks can be scheduled when feeling sluggish, as they tend to require little if any mental exertion.

6. Don’t run on empty. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast each morning before heading to work.

7. Incorporate a motivational boost. Mediation, spiritual practice, or preferred activity can be introduced to bring enjoyment to the start of your day.