You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and how you present yourself on your first day at a new job will stay with you throughout your career with that company. Scary right?
Don’t let the day-one jitters get the best of you! Here are some tips to help you show up prepared so you can make a good name for yourself and start your career off strong.
Prepare yourself in advance
After you have accepted your offer of employment, make sure to ask a few basic and standard questions. After all – you don’t know what you don’t know:
- What’s your work schedule?
- Is there a dress code?
- Who will you report to?
- Do you need to clock in?
- Should you enter through a specific door?
- Where is the best place to park, and do you need a pass?
The last thing you want to do on the first day of your new job is to show up late and unprepared. So, get the basics covered. You can usually get your answers from your recruiter or whoever reviews your offer letter with you.
Timing is everything
On the first day of my first job, my boss said something to me that I’ll never forget, “if you show up on-time, you’re late.”
Give yourself some extra time in the morning, so you don’t have to rush. Make sure you’ve mapped out the route and know how long it’ll take you to get to the office, even with traffic. Have breakfast, get a cup of your favorite coffee, and be 15-20 minutes early for work.
If you get there a little early, check-in and see if someone can give you a tour of the office, or get a head start on any of the HR paperwork you might need to complete.
At the end of the day, don’t pack your bags and run out of the door as soon as the clock strikes 5:00. Those who stay a little late and complete their tasks get noticed and are seen as hard-dedicated workers – even if it’s only 5-10 minutes.
Ask good questions
You’re not expected to know everything right away, ask questions if you don’t understand something. In fact, asking questions and admitting when you don’t fully understand something is a sign of intelligence and maturity.
On the inverse, pretending to know something or grazing past a subject without asking for clarity as a new hire can be perceived as arrogance.
Once training is over, continue to ask questions. This will not only give you great understanding but will also show others your dedication and willingness to learn and grow.
Make the right choices
Show everyone that you fit in and that you embrace the company culture. Try to avoid the common mistakes new hires make, such as:
- Don’t be a loner; try to befriend at least one of your teammates.
- Try to keep talk of a previous company or job to a minimum. You don’t want them to think you’d rather be there instead or imply that you made a mistake taking a new job.
- Don’t talk badly about a previous manager or job; keep it positive. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Positivity is key
Seek out colleagues who seem to love the company and their job. Befriending colleagues who are passionate about what they do will help you love your new job and help you grow.
Positive people will help set you up for long-term success with your employer. Generally speaking, when people are happy and satisfied at work, they deliver better results.
The tips above are great when starting a new job and can also help throughout your career. Be a hard worker and a quality contributor; show your manager how you can add value to the organization. Stay engaged with your teammates, and soak up all of their knowledge.
If you stay with the company long enough, try paying it forward and training new hires. Keep a positive attitude at all times, even when you think things are getting tough. It’s not always easy, but as Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.”
Good luck out there and keep up the hard work!