5 Tips for Your First Day at Work
Your dream position opened up, so you wrote a killer résumé, aced the interview, and finally got the job. Tomorrow is the big day. What do you to make it go perfectly? Here are five tips for your first day at work:
1. Be punctual
This should be obvious, but somehow a lot of people manage to mess it up. Arrive on time or even early to your first day, well-rested and appropriately caffeinated. You should be ready to meet coworkers and receive instructions from the minute you walk in the door. Being late is a horrible start and will definitely be noticed in a new employee, even if the workplace is more casual about it with current staff.
2. Get to know your coworkers
Even if you are nervous or shy or no one else initiates it, you should introduce yourself to your colleagues as soon as you have a natural opportunity to. It is much less awkward to ask someone their name when you first interact with them than several hours later at your lunch break. You’re going to be working with these people for a long time to come, so show interest in them. Having strong relationships with them and earning their respect will always help you in the workplace.
3. Be assertive
Timidity is not rewarded, and you will impress your superiors and coworkers if you come into a new job projecting confidence and capability. However, don’t cross the line into cockiness or assuming that you already know everything. Present yourself as willing and capable to step into a position and quickly learn to perform your expected duties with ease, given the right training.
4. Ask questions
Unless you’ve just been hired to a highly technical or specific position, no one expects you to be an expert. You are likely to be replacing someone who left a position after being trained and having a lot of on-the-job experience, and therefore a lot of knowledge about how to do it best. You may lack both training and extensive experience, but the people in the office around you know and understand that. Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers (take notes if you’re getting overloaded with information) in order to exceed everyone’s expectations.
5. Try to relax
Everyone is nervous on their first day. This is a natural response to the pressure of seeking acceptance in a new environment and social group, and also attempting to live up to the persona that you presented during your application and interview. Remember that your employer probably selected you over other applicants, and that if they are any good at their job they must be a decent judge of who would fill the position well. They chose you—enjoy it!
If you follow these tips and all goes well, you’re in great shape to enjoy your new job. Good luck!