The first day at a new job can be nerve-wracking for everyone, no matter how seasoned they are in their careers. Starting a new job means getting to know a new environment, new set of coworkers, new protocols, and a new set of expectations. The entire process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! To help guarantee a smooth first day, we’ve compiled a list of five tips that will help you start off on the right foot.
Try to arrive early
Showing up early on your first day will give you plenty of time to get oriented and comfortable, as well as meet your colleagues without being rushed. It also demonstrates punctuality, preparedness, and an eagerness to learn. By showing up early, you may even get a chance to speak with your boss before the real work begins, allowing you to establish yourself as a proactive employee who is eager to impress from day one.
Quick Tip: Plan your route to work ahead of time, especially if you are not familiar with the area. If you are using public transportation, make sure you know the schedule and route.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and one important aspect of a first impression is what you wear. Dress appropriately for the position you have been hired for. The way you dress can greatly influence the opinion your co-workers and superiors form about you. It is always better to err on the side of caution and dress more formally rather than too casually.
Quick Tip: Take the time to find out about the dress code of the company and choose your outfit based on it. Being appropriately dressed can help you fit in with the company culture and make it easier to get on the good side of your colleagues.
Your first day is an opportunity to learn as much as you can. A lot of information will be thrown at you, and it is important to take notes to ensure you don’t forget any important details. Bring a notepad and pen to jot down important information, such as how to operate office equipment, the company procedures, and your colleagues’ names and roles. Taking notes also shows your boss that you are serious about the job.
Quick Tip: Write down as much information as you can, even the “obvious” things. Information like what time to arrive in the morning or where to submit forms may seem like details that you will probably remember, but why risk it? Write it down!
Be friendly and approachable
It’s important to establish a good working relationship with your coworkers from the very start. Everyone, from the receptionist to your new colleagues, can make a difference in your first impression. Introduce yourself, smile, and make conversation. Be approachable, listen to what your team has to say, and show a genuine interest in finding out what they do and how you can contribute. A friendly and positive attitude can also make your team feel at ease and create a sense of camaraderie.
Quick Tip: Even if you brought your lunch, if your boss or coworkers invite you to share a meal with them, don’t turn them down. Most likely, they are trying to help you feel less out of place and want to get to know you. Accept the lunch invitation!
Do not be afraid to ask questions on your first day. It is better to ask for clarification than to make a mistake that could have been avoided. Ask questions about how things work, where things are located, and who to speak to if you need help. Being curious allows you to get a clear picture of expectations, while also making a positive impression.
Quick Tip: Before your first day, prepare a list of questions to ask regarding your tasks and responsibilities, as well as your employer’s expectations and guidelines. While many of these may be answered in your orientation, coming in with questions demonstrates your enthusiasm and commitment to your new employer!
Starting a new job can be stressful, but preparing for your first day can make it less daunting. Remember to take the time to arrive early, dress appropriately, take notes, be friendly and approachable, and ask questions. With these five tips in mind, you’ll be sure to make a great first impression and set yourself up for success. Finally, enjoy the new experience, congratulate yourself on your progress, and most importantly believe in yourself!