As much as you are excited for getting that job, your first day can be frightening. From figuring out what to wear to remembering where your new cube is, all while trying to learn the ropes and make a good first impression on your new boss and co-workers, it can all be absolutely terrifying. The following pieces of advice are not only surviving your first day at a new job, but thriving.
1. Prepare The Night Before.
Don’t leave anything to chance on the morning of your first day. Instead, lay out or pack up everything you need the night before. Lay out your clothes and pack your lunch. Have your briefcase, bag, and/or purse ready to go as well.
2. Dress For Success.
You surely put a great deal of thought into the outfit you chose for your job interview, trying to figure out which ensemble projected the proper message. Your first day is another type of interview, and your sartorial selection should be given equally careful consideration
3. Arrive On Time.
The earliest bird catches the fattest worm, so arrive earlier. Not necessarily that you need to get there before the cleaning crew leaves, but set your goal to be a good fifteen minutes early. This provides some room for unexpected delays and, in their absence, provides an initial image of you as someone who is eager and ready to go.
4. Be Ready To Ask Questions.
Almost invariably, the first day at a job will include some sort of orientation program, perhaps involving an HR meeting, lots of forms to fill out, tours, videos, handbooks, etc. Instead of passively trying to survive what can often be drudgery, use it as an opportunity to establish yourself as a co-worker who is eager to learn and succeed.
5. Listen, Observe, And Learn.
Granted, no one wants to be a wallflower on their first day at work. At the same time, however, don’t spend so much time trying to force a good first impression that you miss opportunities to gather key intelligence about your new workplace and co-workers.
6. Don’t Make Excuses.
Your co-workers and supervisors probably expect some mistakes and failures as you adjust, but that doesn’t mean they want to hear you explain them away by saying it is because you are new. No one likes excuses, even when they are somewhat understandable, so making a no excuses first impression will pay dividends for you.
7. Figure Out The Social Landscape.
Two of the more important factors in succeeding at a job are to not only get along with your co-workers, but also to associate with the right ones. In any sizeable work environment you will find cliques, and some mesh better with management than others. If you want to eventually move up in the ranks with your new employer, you’ll need to associate with the right crowd.
8. Look And Play The Part.
This is not about showing that you’re so relaxed that you can walk around with your coffee mug or be a phenomenal joke-teller. When in doubt, take the conservative approach in how you dress and what you say and do. Be as professional as you were in the interview process. Ideally, you want to blend in and make others and yourself comfortable.
9. Don’t Try Too Hard.
The urge to impress can take you off-track, so remember that you’re already hired, you don’t have to wow your new colleagues. It’s every new employee’s dream to hear that people noted how brilliant and personable they are, or how they seem to get the company so quickly. But that can be a lot of wasted energy; you’ll impress naturally and more so once you understand the ropes
While you’re being strategic, also remember to relax on your first day so that you can optimize your productivity. Make sure you’re well rested, prepared, and have every reason to be on time. This is a visible milestone, and you want to be at your best.