First Day Jitters


So do you remember back to the first day of school? I remember the shopping for the first-day outfit. I remember wishing I could get the big-daddy Crayola pack, but spent time nonetheless, enjoying the aromatherapy of the 24 I got. And, of course, the biggest deal for me? Picking out that lunch box. That was a big, MAJOR, deal. I mean, after all this was an extension of my brand… who I was and what I stood for… Big decisions when you’re a kid.

I loved the beginning of school. Still do. For me, September always represents the BEGINNING of a new year, not January. It was exciting. There were old friends to be seen, familiar hallways, but mostly a chance to learn something new, be one step closer to the adult I was DESPERATE to become.

“First days” happen all the time for us as leaders whether we are starting a new position ourselves or having a new person join our team. My observation is that too many people skirt past the first day(s), go straight from offer acceptance to “I must” or “she must” be in role, up and running and performing.

Creating the first-day experience and “onboarding” for yourself or a new employee is CRITICAL. Your new hire may have said yes, but in reality she or he is spending the first days validating that taking the new role was the right decision. Wouldn’t you want them to move to a resounding HELL YES! as quickly as possible?

Be thoughtful in how you approach a new position or guide others. Think through:

  • What do I need to know about this culture to be successful? Who can guide me on that?
  • What are the key relationships that I need to build?
  • What outcomes is my boss looking for in the first 30, 60, 90 days?
  • Where are some quick wins I can make early on?

Enjoy those first and early days!