Stop and pinch yourself - nope, you’re not dreaming! You have just landed your dream role. Right now you’re on cloud nine, and it feels like nothing could bring you down. That is until the inevitable nerves set in.
We can tell you that you have nothing to feel nervous about, and to just be yourself (because it’s true!) but you’re probably sick of hearing that. Easier said than done, right?
We’ll do you one better. We’ve reached out to some CEOs so they can share their career journey with us, reminisce on their first week of working and share what they learnt. Remember, almost everyone has had to have a ‘first day’, and we get it. So do these people.
From 13-year-old baker to GM of one of Australia’s most famous Bakeries
My Dad owned commercial bakeries and when I was 13 my first job was in one of those bakeries. During the school holidays, I got up at 3 am and joined the other workers.
My job was to mix mock cream and fill the thousands of cream buns that needed to be delivered. I hated it, but I persisted because I had promised my Dad that I would stick it out every day for the school holidays. I did it because he didn’t have anyone else to do the work and I knew if we didn’t sell those cream buns that there would be no money coming into the household.
Three things I learned:
1. What it felt like to be genuinely physically tired felt like
2. Every person has an important role in the team
3. Simple jobs are often the most important in creating profit
I was paid almost $1 an hour, and when I got my pay packet (yes it was money in a packet), I thought I was the richest girl in the world. That little yellow packet gave me a great sense of pride in the contribution I had made to the business and my family, and a lifelong love of cream buns.
Natalie Brennan is now General Manager of the Muffin Break franchise.
Over 14 years ago when I started my first business, I learnt many lessons very quickly. I worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week and pretty much lived in our office in Neutral Bay (Sydney).
The business grew, the clients started paying more and growth was inevitable. I made sure that we regularly attracted bright new talent, pitched to new clients and kept reinvesting into the business. I always learnt to be humble, work hard and to listen. Now that I'm more experienced in running businesses these principles still apply. Last year I was granted a Diploma in Leadership & Management and Business and had the opportunity to speak with graduating business students from UNSW about Agile Methodology and ACS about Design Process and Prototyping. Business is all about dealing with people and sometimes taking a risk.
"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear" George Addair.
Steve Molloy, Author of How Apps are Changing the World.
“I have been a CEO for over 20 years, but I do remember my first day of my first job after university. I landed a job at PriceWaterhouse Coopers in the city, so dressed up in a suit and heels and went to work. Upon arriving, they told me I was to go onsite straight away for a project out at Century Yuasa Batteries – a substantial factory way out of town. Went straight there and it was obvious I was the new kid – no one, not even the boss wears a suit. Felt a bit out of place but shrugged it off, wore the right clothes the next day and all was good.
Tips for starting your new job (also applies to interviews), don’t be shy and ask what is the appropriate dress, If they haven’t told you, feel free to ask beforehand what you should take in on your first day. Most companies will need super information, tax information, emergency contact information and just like the first day of school, you soon forget about it and are only part of the team - so don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine.
Raeleen Kaesehagen CEO of Mudputty
My first week came after I had been so desperate for a job, I swallowed my pride and begged for one – on stage, at a conference. The hapless principal of the marketing agency had said: "you can start Monday... just get off the stage!" He gave me a four-week trial.
Now it was time to face reality. I had to prove I was more than just a stunt at a conference. I knew what I had to do – I went around to every person in the office and asked them what they hated doing. Then I started doing it for them. At the end of four weeks, no one wanted me to leave. Within three years I was made Partner.
Adam Long, CEO of Smarter Drafter
Then check out this helpful content on what it takes to champion your first week of the job: