Starting a new job can be intimidating, no matter how long you've been in the workforce. If you're a recent grad, the transition can be even trickier. Fortunately, getting used to working in a professional atmosphere is not as difficult as it seems. All your new colleagues have had their own first day there, so most people should be understanding and helpful. There are many things you can do on your own as well to settle in with as few hiccups as possible.
You will first want to get into a daily routine. Because starting a new job can be physically and emotionally exhausting, try to stick to a structured schedule your first few weeks. Figure out how much sleep you need, and always go to bed with enough time to wake up rested. Sleep is hugely important in how well your brain works throughout the day, so getting enough when you start a new job is paramount. If you find yourself feeling drowsy at any time during the day, you have not gotten enough sleep, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. You should also make sure you are getting your nutrients by taking the time to plan what you will eat those first couple of weeks. Buy groceries before you start your job or eat out to save time and stress. You can also decide ahead of time what you will wear each day so you can get to work punctually and looking prepared.
Once you have your personal life under some semblance of control, you can concentrate on making a great first impression at work. It can be difficult to enter a professional atmosphere for the first time, but there are plenty of things you can do to fit in. First, strive to understand your office culture. Try to observe more than you act. If you find yourself constantly chatting, you are talking way more than you need to be. It is much better to say less and take note of how your co-workers interact in the office. Be respectful of those who have been there longer than you, from the president to the receptionist. Also, make an effort to get to know your colleagues, especially those with whom you will work closely. Make a list of co-workers' names to refer to until you have them down.
Finally, remember to ask questions. Don't be so worried about fitting in that you prevent yourself from actually getting work done during your first few months. You are new and are not expected to know the way things work. It is much better to clear up uncertainties rather than do things the wrong way and waste everyone's time. If you are not sure when to take your lunch, ask someone with whom you work closely. If you are questioning how to finish a particular assignment, ask your superior rather than staying silent and hoping for the best.
With a little effort and a great attitude, you will begin to feel comfortable in your office quickly. Check out Essortment.com for more helpful work etiquette tips.