First day at work

Ages 18-24

Advice and top tips to prep for your first shift

First time on the job? You may have some questions, so here is some advice to help you feel prepped and ready:

  • Get ready the night before - As with any new routine, being prepped is everything. Pack your bag or get your things ready ahead of time. This saves you stress and makes you feel calm and prepared.
  • Leave plenty of time to arrive - Obviously no-one wants to be late on their first day. So give yourself as much time as possible to get there, allowing for transport issues. transport issues.
  • Ask questions - It’s ok to ask, it’s your first day, so if there’s anything you’re not sure of, speak up.

Getting off to the right start

How does software engineering apprentice Hassan recommend you prepare for your first day at work? And what should your priorities be to help you hit the ground running?

How to ace your first day at work

Any new starter should be given a formal induction period — time to learn the job. It’s important to feel supported, so make sure you:

  • Know who to go to - Will you have a line manager, or mentor? Find out who it is, and who you can ask. It might just be an informal ‘buddy’ who can help you find your way around and answer questions.
  • Take notes - Sometimes when there’s lots of information to take in, it can help to write down important parts. If you’re given an induction pack or information about the company, add your own notes.
  • Read and reflect - When you get home, take time to reflect on how your day went, and look over any materials you’ve been given. This downtime helps you process.

Next steps in a new role

After your first day is over and you start to settle in, it’s important to:

  • Set objectives - You’ll probably be asked to meet with your manager and set some targets, as part of an appraisal process. It’s helpful to think about your goals ahead of this meeting.
  • Keep asking questions - After their first day or week is over, some people feel that they should ‘know everything’ and stop asking questions. Don’t! Keep asking and learning.
  • Set aside reflection time - Build-in time (whether at work or in your own time) to reflect on how it’s all going.

I work weekends in a sports retail shop. I love sports, I’m quite a confident person, and I knew the interview had gone well, but I was still pretty nervous about my first Saturday on the job. It’s a really busy shop and customers can get impatient waiting to try on shoes.

When I got there it was good as there were two new starters, so we could kind of help each other out. Everyone was friendly and no one expected me to know it all straight away. I got to learn on the job, by shadowing people and completing an induction. So yeah, my advice is don’t worry! It won’t take long to pick it up.”

Amin, aged 18