New Career, New Job Jitters? De-Stress Your First Day

New Career, New Job Jitters? De-Stress Your First Day

Does it Feel Like the First Day of School Again? Don't Worry, the Same Rules Apply

By Tiffany Lewis, Director, Global Recruiting Operations, LexisNexis

First, start with the basics....Make sure you are prepared for day one. Where do you need to be, when do you need to be there, how should you dress and most importantly is there anything you can do before day one to be more prepared? You don't have to stop at day one. Pick up the phone and ask your manager or HR representative to talk you through week one. If you have a structured orientation program, this might be laid out for you beforehand, but even if you are a lone hire, someone should have an outline for what your first week will look like. This can go a long way to easing those first day jitters.

Second make sure you understand the law firm's strategic objectives and how your role supports them. Your first conversation should be with your manager. Understand what is important to him or her. How does your manager prioritize, how should you prioritize your role? Then ask for a list of people you should talk to - senior, peer and junior team members. Make a plan to connect with everyone on that list in the first 30 days, write a few basic open-ended questions and start scheduling. Document what you learn and share it with your manager. Your manager will be interested to hear what their coworkers had to say and it will give them an opportunity to provide further context.

Third get involved and become a valued team member...it is amazing what you can learn through informal relationships. Have coffee with a peer in a different practice section at least 1 time per week. Volunteer for an unpopular assignment. Join a club (most firms will have affinity based clubs just like in school). And of course, don't forget the administrative staff. They are an invaluable resource and can be clutch the next time you have an impossible deadline or try to get time on a senior partner's calendar.

Finally, relax...you were chosen to be here because the company believes you have what it takes. Ultimately, your success is their success.