First days. No one likes them. It doesn’t matter if it is the first day at school, the first day of university, or, worst-case scenario, first day at work.

We all know the symptoms: nerves, anticipation, hundreds of alarms in the morning… but are they really as bad as they’re made out to be?

First Impressions & Coffee

I started at Pro-Sapien just over three weeks ago, and of course, I went through all the common symptoms associated with coming into a new company for the first time. I asked myself if I was right for the job, if my colleagues would be friendly, if the coffee would be good (it is). Where was all that confidence I showed over the interviews? That suddenly seemed like a very long time ago.

To add to my worries, that same day was the team night out, which I had (maybe prematurely) agreed to join.

In the morning, I left my flat five minutes earlier than I had to and made my way to the office, the whole time convincing myself I was more than ready for this.

Turns out the only thing I wasn’t ready for was to remember everyone’s name (sorry guys). I spent the first hour or so listening out to confirm who was who without being obvious. The Director, Murray, gave me some background to the company and everyone’s role within it (which helped a lot with my name problem) and gave me a tour of the office. I learned vital information like where I would sit, where the fire exits were and, most importantly, where they kept the coffee and tea. Maybe I could make it through the day after all.

Getting Started & Checklists

My manager, Hannah, is based in Canada, so she came online at 2pm GMT to explain more thoroughly what I would be doing over the next few days, and what my training would involve. At this point, and with Murray’s help, I had learned a lot more about the office environment and its unspoken rules – mainly asking other people if they want tea when making one for yourself. Hannah (the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met) welcomed me on-board and after a brief catch-up we started off with my first few tasks.

My training was all set out in the form of a thoroughly organized and structured checklist for the next couple of months. Best part: I could cross things off when completed. So satisfactory.

The uncertainty of not knowing what to do when you first start in a new place is all too familiar to all of us. Being able to come in and know exactly where to begin and what to do so early on was comforting. For the rest of the day, I became more familiar with the programs we use and where to find all the supporting documents for my training. I went through my checklist with Hannah, making sure I understood everything. At this point, I felt quite comfortable and extremely motivated to set off on my mission.

Pineapple Pizza & Pool

The day ended when the pizzas arrived, which if you ask me is not a bad way to finish. This was the perfect occasion for me to properly meet the rest of the team in a more laidback environment and find out if they liked pineapple on their pizza. I was then given the chance to show off my fantastic pool abilities in a nearby pub (joking – I haven’t played pool since my university days, and even so, ‘played’ maybe isn’t the right word to use).

As I suspected, tagging along on the team night out proved to be not only fun, but a perfect opportunity to build good relationships with my colleagues. I am now constantly asked if I want tea and have even been given an Easter Egg, which I think is a pretty good sign. 

Next Steps & Progression

The past weeks have gone by so quickly, and every day I feel like I have grown. I know there is still a lot to learn, both about my role and the Environmental, Health and Safety industry, but I have received plenty of support on both fronts.

It might come as a surprise, but I did not spend my free time reading EHS Today before I started at the job (and I still don’t), so I’ve been building my knowledge on the sector through my colleagues, day-to-day experience and research. Still working on that checklist, but I’ve been making good progress (mainly for the satisfaction of crossing things off) with Hannah’s help and guidance. Since I have been given this blog post to write already, I must be doing something right.

So far, I could not recommend this company enough, its development opportunities, office environment and working conditions. I feel like I have become part of something bigger, and I am so glad I stuck around after my first day.

If this sounds like somewhere you would like to work, why not take a look at our Careers page for all our open opportunities?

Check Out Our Career Opportunities Here!

Irene Zueco is the Marketing and Communications Executive at Pro-Sapien, who graduated from Strathclyde University with a Master’s in International Business and Modern Languages in 2018. She has lived in Spain and Italy, but 7 years ago decided to move to Scotland where she currently resides despite the weather. Outside of work she enjoys travelling and good food, preferably paired with a good wine too.

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