Learn How the Ticket to Work Program Can Work for You

Chapter 5 - Managing Your New Job

Starting Right

Tips for a successful first week

  • Keep an open mind and be ready to work and learn
  • Take notes of important information during training
  • Ask questions
  • When meeting new co-workers, use their names in conversation to help remember them faster
  • Establish a “help network” at work
  • Determine if you need any additional accommodations

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Securing a job is a big deal! Having a job is something to be proud of and a great achievement on the path to financial independence.

However, the transition to employment can sometimes be challenging, especially if you haven’t worked in a while or maybe even ever before.

Here are some suggestions on how to be successful in a new job. It's common to be excited, but a bit nervous on the first day of a new job.

During the first few days, you may have a lot of new information to absorb, so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself.

Making some decisions beforehand will help you be more relaxed and ready. These tips may help ease the transition to work even before you start a new job.

Before the first day of the job: Plan on how you will get to and from the job. Do a practice run to learn about traffic or mass transit patterns and schedules.

Get together any supplies that might be needed, such as a pen to fill out forms.

Decide what to wear and set out the clothes the night before. This will save time in the morning.

If you are unsure about what to wear, check with the employer first to find out if there's a dress code.

Prepare for lunch or other meals. Are there places nearby to buy lunch, or is bringing it from home the best option?

Read our Choose Work Blog post “Healthy Eating Habits Can Benefit You at Work” located at

www.choosework.ssa.gov forward slash healthy eating for some additional tips.

Get a good night’s sleep the night before the first day to have enough energy in the morning.

During the first week: Keep an open mind and be ready to work and learn.

Take notes of important information during training. Listen carefully, and ask questions.

When assigned a task, be clear on what’s expected of you to complete the task successfully.

It is important to ask questions to be sure you understand the assignment from the start.

When meeting new co-workers, use their names in conversation to help remember them faster.

Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to clarify your role and responsibilities and to learn the supervisor’s preferences and expectations.

If appropriate, create a professional development plan with clear goals and objectives on what you need to learn and the skills you should develop.

Ask about the "chain of command" and find out where to go for help or information

Establish a “help network” at work. After you understand the organization better,

it’s important to build relationships at work to increase your chances of success.

Know who can help you with a problem, answer a question or pitch-in when needed.

Determine if you need any additional accommodations. Visit the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) at askjan.org

for free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.

Meeting new people, and getting new information will make your first day zip by. After the first day of work, you may feel overwhelmed.

The good news is that the first day only happens once! Each day your routine should get easier and more understandable,

and opportunities will begin to emerge to start building your career.

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