What to do on Your First Day at Work26th August 2015 | George Atkins
You’ve aced the interview, been hired by your dream company, you’ve shopped extensively for shirts, suitable office shoes and picked up your skirt from the dry cleaners… you could not be more ready. But, the first day at work is always a daunting experience, one which every working person will undertake on a fairly regular basis, so being prepared and demonstrating the correct etiquette is crucial; here are the top 4 things to do on your first day in the office (and if you need a hand finding that all important new job, try this free job search!).
First impressions last a lifetime (apparently) so it’s probably a good idea to start off at a new job on the right foot and be as polite as possible to everyone you come into contact with, be it your new boss or the cleaning staff. Make eye contact with each person you meet, confidently shaking their hand and try to smile. As time goes on you’ll loosen up around co-workers but for now, try and make as many friends as possible… after all these are the people you’ll spend most of your time with from now on! In addition to politeness, make sure you’re honest; making even white lies now could lead to embarrassment in the future (much like in real life) but obviously don’t spill too much of your personal beans straight off the bat, nobody needs to hear about how much Guinness you drank last Saturday.
Arrive on time (if not a little early)
Tying back into first impressions, nobody likes a late worker, especially on a first day where the precedent is often set in the minds of co-workers and worse… your new boss. Being half an hour early is better than half an hour late, so allow yourself plenty of time to get to work, even if it is a pain waking up at 6:30 in the morning to start off. Also, if you put ‘punctual’ and ‘trustworthy’ on your CV, it might come across more than a little inaccurate if you roll in at 9:34 instead of 9:00, regardless of excuse and you will forever be known as that guy/ girl who can’t be bothered with full-time employment. Try and prepare the night before, sorting out clothes and making packed lunches; running around in the morning is sure to eat into your time margin and rushed ironing does no one any favours. Also, make sure to pre-plan your work route, especially if you have never travelled there before at that time and even going on a trial run to make certain you know your way there.
Listen and be receptive
Today may indeed be a steep learning curve for some, with a great deal of information bombarding you from all over so it’s unlikely you’ll pick up everything. But this is when you learn about some of the important things; where to sit, where to eat, where the fire exits are located, what to do in the advent of an injury and so on. This information is not only maintaining a comfortably, well organised work place, but might also be important to your self-preservation. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions; it’s you’re first day for Pete’s sake so of course you don’t know everything, that’s normal of course. However, don’t be afraid to exercise your initiative concerning certain tasks but remain open to colleague’s advice, listen to them and try to learn the ropes as quickly as you can; that way, you’ll come across as a valuable employee right from the get go.
Don’t be the first to clock out!
It may very well have been a tough day of learning a vast amount in a short amount of time, trying to juggle multiple tasks and pieces of info all at once but don’t let it get to you; once again, the impression left by someone leaving 10 minutes early is not a good one. Try and not be the first person to leave the office, that way you’ll come across like a hard-worker, a valuable asset who’s not afraid to go the extra mile for the benefit of the company. And remember to thank the boss on your way out, thanking them for the day’s guidance… always goes down well!