Returning to Work

Being offered a job is a wonderful feeling, but often the excitement is tainted with an overwhelming feeling of nervousness.  If you have been out of the job market for a while you may find the idea of going back into the work place a daunting task.  It is completely normal to be nervous, the important thing is to try and keep calm and show your enthusiasm for learning.  You will not be expected to know everything from the outset, so take notes, ask questions or do whatever you feel you need too to get a grasp of the role and its functions. Here are a few key things to remember on your first day:

  • Be punctual, if you are running late then call in and let them know
  • Listen more than talk
  • Take notes, especially of people’s names and job roles
  • Show initiative but ask questions and ask for help when you need it
  • Relax, keep an open mind and be yourself

It’s important to place realistic expectations on yourself.  Do not expect to have learned the ropes after the first day, sometimes it may take weeks or months to fully feel confident with what you are doing.  As long as you are proving yourself to be a keen and willing employee you will make a little bit of progress each day and without even realising and you will soon be doing the job without a second thought.  If you do struggle with a task then don’t be afraid to ask for help – it’s better to ask for help than to do a job wrong.  Employers would rather be asked several times for clarification on a task than for you to just get on with it, not really knowing what to do.

It is important to fully understand what your role entails and what is expected of you. So if you are unsure about any aspect of your role then ask your manager or a colleague for clarification.

It is helpful to be aware of what other peoples roles are too, so that you can get a full picture of where your role fits within the organisation.  Your employer will typically introduce you to everyone on your first day, but if they don’t then don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.  Some employers will provide a formal training and induction program for you while others may simply show you to your work area and give a brief explanation of your tasks.  Whichever style of management you experience, make sure you are comfortable with what you have been told or shown and if in doubt ask questions.

Remember, mistake will happen. Everyone, even the most experienced of colleagues will at times make a mistake; after all we are all human. If something goes wrong, try to maintain a positive focus. Recognise that the mistake was made and treat the incident as a learning experience.   Often remaining positive will help you overcome any unexpected hurdles.

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