You decided to take a year off to travel or explore your own interests after your studies and now you are about to start your first job after a long pause from the workforce.

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What will they expect of you? How will you get used to the routine of regular work? Going back can be scary, but these 6 tips will help you successfully transition back to work on your first day at the new job!

1. Learn about the Environment

Before you can begin, you'll need to learn about your work environment. Will you be:

  • Going in person?

  • Working online?

  • Or hybrid?

If you're going in person, is the environment casual or formal?

Getting a sense of the environment will help you decide how you want to present yourself.

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2. Dress for Success

If you're going in person at all, you'll want to know if there's a dress code. You've been out of the workforce for a while, so you may need to update your wardrobe!

If you haven't seen the work environment, there's nothing wrong with asking about the dress code. You don't want to show up on your first day over or underdressed.

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3. Routine, routine, routine!

Getting used to a new routine is challenging, especially when it's been a while since you were expected to follow one. Once you know if you'll be going in person, online, or hybrid, you can start planning your routine.

Below are questions to consider for each scenario:

In Person

  • Factoring travel time, how early do you need to wake up each day?

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  • Do you need to have meals prepared in advance because you'll be home late?

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  • Will you need to pack a lunch?

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  • Will the company track your time online within set hours?

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  • What space in my home will be suitable to work online?

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  • Are breaks within at set times?

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4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you've considered some of the questions above, start living your routine before you start work. Set your alarm in the morning and practice your day. This way, you'll see if there are other factors you need to consider before starting work.

For example, if you're online, maybe you'll need to factor in a workout or outdoor walk to break up your day.

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5. Make a Good Impression!

Now you're dressed right and you've practiced your routine. You've arrived early and are meeting your coworkers for the first time. You'll want to make a great first impression, so consider the following;

  • Listen, observe, and look interested!

  • Ask questions when you are unsure — don't make assumptions!

  • Make small talk and get to know their interests.

  • Be open to learning new things — don't pretend to know everything!

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6. Scheduling Personal Time

It's easy to get fully consumed by work once you return. Be sure to schedule some time for your personal life to avoid burnout. Make a list of things that are important to you:

  • Perhaps alone time reading a book is important.

  • Spending time with family or significant others might be your top priority.

Your friends and family may have gotten used to you being readily available while you weren't at work. Use your list to block times in your calendar for these priorities. A cartoon dog & cat asleep in a bed. The text reads,

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You're all set to start your first day. Remember to...


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