It’s the big day! It’s your first day at the new job. It’s understandable that you’re going to be nervous. Breathe and smile through it. We know you’ll make a good first impression. The one thing you can do to achieve that, is just to listen. Here are some tips to have a spectacular first day: Grab a notebook, practice your best smile, pick out your outfit the night before, and set a reminder to silence your phone in the morning. And, of course, be yourself! You’re hired, so they must already like you.
Check Traffic and Weather
Be prepared! Bad weather can derail your morning. Prepare an outfit for fair or bad weather so you’re not rushing to change clothes. Bad weather also affects traffic, as well as ten other things that could. Set an alarm on your phone to alert you when it’s time to leave (to arrive 15 minutes early), and leave 10 minutes before that. A car accident, a school bus, or even just a Monday can delay traffic longer and thwart your plans to arrive to work for your first day on time. Take on the day fearlessly.
Take a Notebook Everywhere
Listen and ask questions. You won’t know a thing when you first start, so ask as much as you can and write everything down. While day one is usually easy-going, take everything you learn seriously. Leveraging your new employee status is only doable for so long, so you’ll want notes to rely on later. It may even be helpful to prepare questions that you think might come up. These questions could be: do you need a key to the building, who do you report to when my manager is not available, and what is everyone’s preferred method of communication. Some offices are tech-only and plugged into earphones, other prefer face-to-face to explain and then an email follow up for clarity. Write everything you learn down.
Chat with Everyone
Get the lay of the social land. Don’t be shy and don’t turn down a lunch invite. Learn all that you can about who you’re working close to and what they do for the company (and your team in particular). You’ll want to give your team, and anyone else you can, your full attention. Heed their advice, they’ll most likely give you tips. Don’t wait to be introduced, say hello and start conversations. It’s difficult being the new addition and putting yourself out there, but it’s the best way to acclimate quickly and to get an authentic feel for the company culture.
Even if everyone else is dressed down. Dress in business professional, not business casual or – so help you – casual. Pretend the first day is an extended interview when you choose your outfit for the day. Conservative and comfortable is best. Additionally, avoid wearing loud squeaking shoes or clicking heels. You’re not sure yet what the office environment is like and, perhaps, they may prefer a quiet space while they work. Furthermore, skip the perfume or cologne. Some people are more sensitive to scents than others, and you’ll want to respect the possibility that some of your coworkers may not love your signature scent as much as you do.
Put your phone on silent
It seems obvious, but most often forgotten. To give your coworkers the attention they deserve, and absorb everything you can, you’ll want to ignore your phone for the day. Everything you learn today will be important, something that you’ll need to know later. Keeping your eyes and ears open at work and not on your phone is essential. You won’t want to miss one thing on your first day, not even during your lunch break. That’s your time to get to know the others better, rather than catching up on texts or social media.
It’s best to practice your elevator pitch. People will ask you all day what you did before this job, your experience, and just generally who you are. Practice your 30 second pitch explaining your years of experience in the industry and a couple fun facts about yourself. The fun facts humanize you a little more and help your new coworkers find some common ground with which to relate to you. Furthermore, don’t stress that you need to jump in and solve all the company’s pain points right away. Take a breath, no one expects you to be the hero on the first day.
Good luck! You’re going to have a great first day. Just show up 15 minutes early and heed our advice. And remember, they hired you for a reason. They already like you and they’re happy to have you there. For more career advice, keep following our blog, and continue to visit pdxMindShare for current job listings.