Last Day at Your Old Job and First Day in a New Job

by Ruaidhri Horan, Marketing Manager, Abrivia Recruitment

It is your last day at work, you feel awkward and stressed, and being “on edge”, you are very susceptible to saying the wrong thing to the wrong person (telling a few home truths) but then again, you don’t really care as you cannot be reprimanded and you won’t be at work on Monday to suffer the repercussions. Is it the right attitude to have on your last day?

The simple answer is no. You should always leave your job on a positive note as you just like “first impressions”, your “last impressions” will stick in the memory of your co-workers in regards how they view you. In addition, Ireland is a very small country and you never know when you may cross paths in the future and your current colleagues could be employees of the future.


In essence, you should remain professional. Even if your head-space has already moved on to the next challenge in your career, you should remain focused on tying up loose ends. If you are totally unmotivated and uninterested it may be a good idea to formulate a list first thing in the morning which will include a final hand-over.

Finally, thank your colleagues personally for everything and send a farewell e-mail to everyone on your team. If you are fortunate enough to have farewell drinks organised, remember to avoid getting too inebriated and keep in positive spirits and as professional as you can be after a few alcoholic beverages. You don’t want the last professional memory of you being in a state of drunkenness where you have fallen in a stopper, whilst insisting on putting a curse on everyone around you!

New Job

Nervous trepidation are two words which accurately describe your state of mind as you approach your first day in a new job. You will worry about how you will be regarded by your new colleagues and whether or not you make a good first impression. Remember that you do not get a second chance to make a good first impression.

So, what can you do to ensure your first day passes off smoothly?

1.Review and Revise
You should review, revise and re-familiarise yourself with your job spec. You should also review the research you conducted on your new employer and further research could be a good idea in order to ensure you are fully prepared for your first day in a new job. This should also quell any first day jitters.

2.Visit the Dry-Cleaners
Ensure what you wear on your first day is not only comfortable but fully dry cleaned. You do not want your colleagues pigeonholing you as an untidy, dishevelled and probably unorganised individual from their first impressions.

3.Punctuality
Whatever time you are asked to commence work at, it is good practice to arrive, at least fifteen minutes early on your first day.

4.Smile, Smile, Smile
Introduce yourself to as many of your new colleagues as possible and don’t forget to smile, as this is a great icebreaker.

5.Prepare Goals and Task Lists
Rather than appearing like a headless chicken start as you mean to continue by starting to set goals and task lists. For your first week there may be an on-boarding process, but you still should set personal goals in regards what you want to learn and understand at the end of each day. Rome was not built in a day, but this structured approach should help you transition seamlessly into your new role.

It is only natural to fear and be nervous of the unknown. However, with careful preparation, you will not only give a great first impression to your new colleagues but will be able to counteract that nervous trepidation that comes naturally with commencing a new role.