You’ve done it! You’ve been hired for your new job in tech and, if this is the first time you work in the industry, you might not be sure what to expect on your first day. And it’s natural to have butterflies in your stomach: you probably feel afraid, excited, maybe a tad of imposter syndrome… after all, you’re heading into the unknown!
We’ve prepared some advice on what to expect on your first day, and how to overcome first-time jitters. It’s okay to feel fear: what matters most is how you act on it. And, with these tips, you’ll be ready to make the most of your first day working in tech!
Preparing for a New Job: The Week Before
In most companies, your recruiter or manager will get in touch with you before you start to tell you what to expect and what to prepare for the first few days; don’t be afraid to ask proactively if you need more information to start, like for example the exact schedule!
You have probably done some research on the company throughout the interview process: it’s one of the best ways to show your interest in the company and how much importance you place on finding the right fit for you (and not just the first company that wants to hire you). But if you were indeed hired, now is the time to do some extra work! By doing a more in-depth research, you can cover your bases in advance for a lot of the information you’ll have to catch up on when you start working for a new company. Find out what they’ve been doing lately, and you’ll be in sync with the team.
Some companies also make their roadmap public– in it, you can check out what they plan to work on in the next few months, and know what to expect during your first year.
Preparing for a New Job: The Day Before
Excited? You should be: you’re opening a new chapter of your professional life tomorrow! To start in the best way possible, take advantage of the extra time before day one to prepare at leisure.
The day before, pick out your outfit (yes, even if you’re working remotely!) so you don’t have to think about it early in the morning. It’s a good look: even if showing your face on camera all the time isn’t the company culture, it will definitely be a thing on your first day, so everyone can meet you properly and recognise you. Looking your best will give a great first impression.
Take good care of yourself the night before, so you can start your day well rested and full of motivation: eat a good dinner, as good food will settle the butterflies and give you plenty of energy, and get a good night’s sleep. The devil is in the details!
Making a Good First Impression
We can’t stress this enough: show up on time! This is such a given that failing to arrive on time is a huge red flag, as it can mean you don’t care about the job. If you’re not sure about how traffic or public transport will affect your journey, leave the house earlier. It’s your first day: it matters!
On your first day, you’ll probably be shown the facilities, the main programs and online services you’ll be using to do your job, and get introduced to a lot of people, too. This can be overwhelming, and you might feel the pressure to show your excitement about how happy you are to meet everyone; or even take proactive steps to introduce yourself to people.
But be careful: remember that other people have busy schedules, too! Be sure to accommodate, and not just dump a 1-hour meeting in their calendar with no warning just to get to know each other.
Go Easy On Yourself
Starting a new job can be, more than anything, overwhelming. Don’t feel stressed to be super useful on the first day: remember that you’re there to learn! It’s fine to take your time to figure out how everything works, and get all your questions answered. That’s what the onboarding process is all about. If you rush the process, you might misunderstand or completely miss out on important information that you will need further down the line.
For now, breathe, and take it slow: take notes of everything, and try to get a grip of the general picture to know what you can figure out by yourself and what you need to ask about.
During this process, you will feel lost a lot, and you may even feel imposter syndrome: that’s okay! A company that expects you to know everything right away isn’t a good company. You’re entitled to time to learn and get acquainted with everything as you start.
Be As Sociable As You Can
Don’t worry, you don’t need to instantly befriend everyone in your team. But it’s important to show up, have a good attitude, and be interested in others’ personalities and working styles, just as much as letting them know yours! Connecting with your peers doesn’t just make work a much nicer place: it will also make your team stronger, and your work together a lot more comfortable and efficient.
If there's after-work drinks or a virtual social, try to go if you can, especially if you just joined the company. Taking a little bit of interest in your coworkers can go a long way!
Take It All In and Enjoy!
You’re here! You made it! And the next thing ahead can look terrifying, especially if you’ve never done this before. So remember: big breaths! If you feel yourself getting intimidated or overwhelmed by the tasks that first get assigned to you, take a moment to look at the big picture. You’re already doing amazing: you've made a serious career move and you should be proud!
Breathe, ask if you have questions, and keep going!
Eagerly awaiting your first day in Tech? Ironhack can help you get there with our unrivalled Career Services, built into our Tech bootcamps to help our alumni get a job right after finishing their education! Get the career support you need with our bootcamps!