Tips for Being the New Kid on the Block

health care career

Whether working in a health care career or a job in any other industry, every employee at least once in their lives has been the new kid on the block. It's often an awkward situation that takes some deliberate and deft navigation to successfully get through the first few days, even months.

Much of that awkwardness can be mitigated simply by thinking the experience through before you ever arrive at the office for that anticipated first day. As Donnell Adair, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde's campus in Portland, Ore. pointed out, preparation is where it all starts before starting a new job.


"So much about your first day is the night before," Adair said. "It's a nerve-wracking experience to go into the unknown of what a new job might entail. What are your co-workers going to be like? How are the patients going to be? What will the morning drive be like every day? So many things can swirl around your mind that it can keep you up at night."

The best way to release all that anxiety, Donnell said, is to release it the night before. Set out work attire. Plan you breakfast. Give yourself extra time so as to avoid any stress of being late.

Everyone matters

"On your first day, you'll be meeting a ton of folks, from the managers to people in different departments," Adair said. "Some you will work with closely, some you would be lucky to see each week. They all matter. How you treat every single person you encounter is a representation of how you treat people as a whole."

This is especially vital working in a health care career, Adair said.

"It will be paramount that you deliver top-tier patient service if given the chance to have any patient interactions," Adair said. "Don't let your nerves get in the way of your ability to deliver great patient care/customer service."

Learn as much as you can as fast as you can

You most likely told your employer that you were a fast learner at some point during your job interview. Now is your time to prove it.

However, Adair said there are some potential pitfalls to avoid.

"Beware of the 'know-it-all' attitude," Adair said. "You want to be coachable and eager to learn, not eager to show up the person training you. There most likely will be a learning curve, but you want to be head of that curve and not depend on it for your employment's sake."

Go with the flow, especially in a health care career

The onboarding process is different for new employees at every company, Adair said. You might be ready to jump in with both feet, but the company has processes to which you should adhere. However, if a company is in need of someone to hit the ground running, it's important that you're ready to do so.

"Beware of overstepping your boundaries," Adair said. "There is a fine line between being helpful and being intrusive. Overall, take advantage of the moments to appropriately contribute when possible."

Other helpful tips

Danielle Van der Knaap, Graduate Employment Specialist at Concorde's campus in San Antonio, Texas, said the good news for any new employee is after some time getting to learn the ropes, it will get better.

A new employee should always remember to:

  • Never be afraid or shy to ask questions.
  • Make sure to bring a note pad and pen to every meeting.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor but get to know your colleagues.
  • Do not stand around when you have down time. Ask what you can do to help.
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