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New Job? Here are some things you should do for a great first day…

Jul 21, 2021 | Careers Advice

9 Things You Should Do for a Great First Day at Work

After going through what may have been a rigorous hiring process, you find out that you’ve finally made it and all you have to do now is to prepare for your first day at work.

Congratulations! This time in your life is an exciting period, and you deserve to have the right start. However, you’re not particularly sure or confident about what you should do the moment you enter the office.

If you’re currently feeling a little anxious about reporting to work soon, don’t.

Here are 9 things you should do to have a great first day in your new job.

1. Arrive early or come on time

First impressions last, and you know how important it is to get off on the right foot at work. And when it comes to newcomers, nothing could be more unimpressive and irritating than for them to report to work late. Even if your co-employees and new boss seem to be tolerant about you coming in late on the first day, it’s still not the best way to make a favourable impression.

To prepare, practise your commute a few days before you actually need to go to work. If you’re driving, familiarise yourself with the best routes to avoid heavy traffic. Or, you can just leave home early.

2. Follow the dress code

Even if you’re new at work, you don’t want to be sticking out like a sore thumb. Sure, people will understand if you’re dressed differently and they learn that you’re new. But remember that thing about first impressions? People’s perception of you based on your attire will likely set the tone for how they will interact with you.

So, to be safe, check the dress code with human resources the moment you find out you passed, or give them a call afterward so you can prepare.

3. Keep an open mind and be ready for anything

There are companies where you need to hit the ground running. There are also those that usually give new joiners a full day or more to explore their new surroundings, get to know some people, and become acquainted with their role and responsibilities.

Whichever type your company is, be ready for anything and make the most of it.

4. Take notes and ask questions

While you’re being orientated or undergoing training about work, make sure you take notes of everything. This way, you’ll have a handy reference of what you are expected to do at work. If anything is unclear or not discussed, ask questions. Doing this will show that you care about the details of your job as well as your own initiative.

Also, familiarise yourself with company policies on leaves of absences, holidays and so on. Check with your colleagues, boss or HR to get that information.

5. Be amiable or pleasant

Greeting everyone a cheerful ‘good morning’ when you come to work for the first time also sets the tone for how people will perceive you. If you ignore or avoid people, they might assume you are standoffish, cold or unfriendly – which might not bode well for you.

So, return greetings, smile and interact with everyone who is trying to welcome you.

6. Remember people’s names

Some companies provide copies of their organisational chart to newbies, but others don’t. So, don’t be afraid to make quick notes when you’re being introduced to everyone. Pay special attention to the people who comprise your team and, of course, your boss and the people in human resources.

If you have trouble remembering, double-check your notes and make sure you have the spellings and pronunciations right.

7. Get ready to introduce yourself

Even if the company has sent out an email introducing you to everyone, expect someone to ask you to introduce yourself on your first day. Therefore, it makes sense to prepare a 30-second speech about you. Practise your short talk in front of the mirror or a friend to check if it’s interesting or engaging enough.

8. Join your colleagues for lunch

Most people are understanding about newbies and would ask their new colleague to join them for lunch at the cafeteria. So, rather than eating your packed lunch alone at the pantry, mingle with your team and make an effort to converse and get to know them.

9. Be observant

To learn the company culture, it pays to be observant and alert. If there’s no drama or power play in your office, that’s great news. You can then focus your attention on fulfilling your role and supporting the goals of your department.

Cheers to a great first day!

This is an exciting time, and being prepared with a plan going in will help ensure you do great on your first day at work.

Just keep in mind that as you start your career in a new company, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to learn, grow and become better at what you do. And if everything goes well at work, most everyone you meet could become your colleagues in the next 5, 10, 15 years!

So, plan ahead, consider these tips and enjoy your first day in your new job.