Maybe you have been out of work for a while and are just now
coming back to the workplace; maybe you have been employed at the same company
for years and just got a new job or maybe it’s your first job after graduating
college. Whatever the circumstance the first day of a new job is an important
one as it can set the tone for the term of your employment there. First
impressions are very important during the interview process, but you have been
hired, and although you do not have the need to “Wow” your colleagues, you will
make an impression regardless. Do not try too hard to make an impression; act
the part, learn the “lay of the land”, and get to know your new position, its
requirements, and the people you will be working with.
First things first – Show up early. It’s your first day, DO
NOT show up late.
Now that we have gotten the obvious out of the way, here are
a few tips to help you set the tone at your new job!
- Make it known that you are there to work, you
are timely and eager to learn and do your job. It sets a precedent for your
attitude and how you will perform. It also allows for a good first impression
from your new coworkers.
- Be confident, not cocky, and understand that you
do not have to know everything right away. Ask the necessary questions when you
need to know something. You are new, it will take some time to learn the job
but in the meantime ask the necessary questions in order to accomplish
everything you need. You want to show your desire to learn, but keep it in
check, you won’t learn everything in one day.
- Introduce yourself, smile and shake hands, be
yourself (not some rigid, aggressive, or overly shy person) and enjoy the
moment! People want to work with someone who is going to bring good energy to
the team, show your enthusiasm to work in this new group! Although enthusiasm
is important, try not to overdo it. Let your personality show through so people
get to know the real you.
- Dress the part (learn what the office dress code
is in advance). You don’t want to turn your new coworkers off from the get go.
It’s true, you will be judged by your appearance, it’s just the way of the
world. Looking and acting like you want and will fit in with the rest of the
office is important.
- Pay attention to the way things work in the
office. How are decisions made? What is the culture like? What is expected of
you and what your job requires you to do (this includes the stuff in between
- Get to know your coworkers; if asked to go to
lunch or meet up with the team after work for drinks, don’t decline. It is good
to build rapport early on and show you want to be part of the team.
- Take initiative, if you finish a task and do not
have any other work at that time, offer to help a coworker or ask your manager
if there is anything else that you can do.
- If you make a mistake, own it! Again, you are
new, it’s bound to happen at some point. Just make sure that you learn from it,
don’t keep making the same mistake.
- Read up on the company and their competitors,
the more you know the better off you will be.
- Celebrate! At the end of the day, meet up with a
friend, go out to dinner, etc. find something you can enjoy and celebrate the
start of your new job.
- You made it through your day successfully, take
a moment to reflect on the day and what you have experienced and learned, think
about how you can apply those things and make your job go smoothly in the
Try not to get overwhelmed on your first day, there is much
to learn and there will always be more to learn the next day (well, at least
there should be). Stay focused, stay on track and present yourself as “you”. There
will be plenty of time to grow as an employee, but you want to start out on the