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6 tips to knock out the first-day jitters

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You nailed the interview, wrote flawless follow-up emails, and now you’re preparing for your first day on the job. While you made it through the hiring process, day one presents a whole new set of challenges that can cause anxiety among new employees.

Sharon Schweitzer, an international business etiquette expert, author, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers tips to conquer the jitters and make a professional impression.

1. Before you start the first day, read and absorb everything you can find about company culture. This includes social media postings, websites, employer profiles, any annual reports and printed material.

2. Study any available biographies and LinkedIn profiles of the leadership team, your team and your supervisor (if known). Gain as much insight as possible into how to be a good employee and team member.

3. Being on time is especially important on the first day, but arriving a few minutes early sends a clear message that you are motivated and ready to work. Take this time to familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and get comfortable.

4. Prepare your first-day outfit based on company culture AND the job you seek, not the position you were hired to fill. In addition, have your wardrobe prepared for the entire first week in advance. Polish and repair shoes; and tailor, hem or repair ripped clothing. Iron, launder and dry-clean dresses, shirts and suits. Stock up on missing sundries. This doesn’t require going into thousands of dollars of debt, but a polished first impression will last long after your first day.

5. Remember that as the newly hired employee, you have a lot to learn. Ask questions and be ready to receive constructive criticism. Don’t take anything personally; instead, respond to all critiques with a gracious “thank you.”

6. Sending a quick note of gratitude to those who helped you navigate your first day puts you in contact with your new colleagues and demonstrates that you’re glad to be part of the team.

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