Your first day in your new job, whilst exciting, can be a nerve-racking experience. However, there are ways to plan for your first day that will help alleviate some of this anxiety.
Here are our top tips to make a good impression and get your new job off to a great start.
1. Be on time
Plan your commute and allow for some extra time in case of unforeseen delays. Showing up a little early is fine, but being late on your first day starts things off on a negative note. If possible, do a test run of your journey.
2. Dress appropriately
You want to make sure that you dress in something suitable for the workplace. There is no harm in asking in advance what the dress code is. If you are unsure, then take a conservative approach as you would for an interview.
Re-read any information you have been given about your role and responsibilities. Research the company again and find out as much as possible about any recent developments. Make sure to bring any induction documentation requested.
A lot of your first day will be listening and taking in what others are telling you. This is hugely important to help you understand your team, the company and what is expected of you. Be prepared to take notes.
5. Ask questions
Ask lots of questions as it not only shows you are interested, but will help you get to grips with your new role. If you are having problems with some tech, or a task you’ve been asked to do, it’s always better to ask rather than struggling and wasting time.
6. Prepare your elevator pitch
You’ll need to introduce yourself. A lot. Come up with a few concise lines about yourself including things such as what you’ve been hired to do, your previous role and where you live.
7. Be adaptable
Some companies will have a structured onboarding process which involves spending time getting to know the company and you role, whereas other companies will throw you in the deep end and expect you to get started straight away. Be open to either possibility. If you find yourself with nothing to do, try to be proactive by asking about your next task.
You want to seem approachable and a smile goes a long way. You want your body language to come across as happy-to-be-there and keen to be part of your new team.
9. Remember names
This one can be tricky, but getting someone’s name right shows that you are paying attention and that you care enough to remember them. A good tip for this is to repeat their name over and over in your head as you are introduced to someone.
10. Know your team
Make an extra effort to get to know those on your direct team. Ask questions so you know exactly what they do and how their role connects with yours, this can avoid embarrassing mistakes and help you bond.
11. Put your phone on silent
You should be focussed at work, especially on your first day, and being distracted by your phone doesn’t put you in the best light and can make you seem dis-interested in what you’re doing. Save checking it until lunch time, at least for your first week.
12. Socialise if asked
If you boss or team members invite you to lunch, then accept, even if you have brought lunch with you. It’s important to show you are keen to include yourself in the team, you can save your sandwich for another day!
13. Find out the rules
You will want to have some time with HR talking about the official rules of your contract, but you will also want to find out about any unwritten rules in the workplace. These can usually be picked up from watching others around you. For example, eating food at your desk, staying late or playing music.
14. Don’t overdo it
It’s important to be friendly, but you don’t want to come across as overeager. If you get the feeling someone doesn’t want to talk, just move on. Day 1 also isn’t the time to share all your great ideas for the company. No one likes a new employee who thinks they know everything.
15. Avoid gossip
Don’t get involved in any office gossip and drama. Be polite but make it clear you don’t know people well enough to comment. It’s also a good idea not to over-share with your new colleagues until you have worked out who is trust-worthy and who isn’t. Stay professional.
If things don’t go perfectly, don’t be too hard on yourself, just know that you did your best. Tomorrow is another day. Starting a new job should be a positive point in your life, so try to relax, be yourself and enjoy this next step in your career.
Looking for some more career advice? You can find lots of helpful tips and advice on our blog.