The first day at a new job is nerve wrecking because we all want to impress and set the right tone for the rest our time at the new office. “Most of us remember our first days at every job because of the heightened pressure to impress,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.
“But you can reduce your anxiety by being as meticulous in planning your first day as you were in securing your new position,” she noted. Your first day at work in a new environment and being with new colleagues can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 3 things that successful people do on their first day of a new job:
Look the part and
play it too
Your first mission is to blend in and look like you belong. So, check with human resources (HR) if you aren’t sure of the dress code. It might sound too simplistic, but physical appearance and dress sense does count. You don’t want to be seen as the odd casual one out nor do you want to dress more formal than your boss. When you blend in with the company culture and dress code, it’s easier for your colleagues to accept you as ‘one of their own.’
Aside from looking the part, you need to play the part as well. “This is not a good time to show that you’re so relaxed that you can walk around with your coffee mug, be a phenomenal joke-teller, or wax on about the day’s major business headlines,” Taylor said.
Make time for
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s all too easy to get carried away with the first-day orientation and various introductions in the company. “You want to make sure you’re accessible to your new boss first and foremost on your first day, despite all the administrative distractions. This is an important first impression you don’t want to discount,” Taylor says.
“Companies are not always as organized as they’d like when on-boarding staff. You can easily get caught up with an HR professional, various managers or coworkers – or with a special assignment that keeps you from being available to the person who matters most.” On your first day of work, do make it a point to seek out your manager, check in with her throughout the day, and inform her if you were to leave your desk for long periods of time for new employees activities.
Accept lunch invites
“If you’re offered to go have lunch with your new boss and co-workers, go,” Teri Hockett, chief executive of What’s For Work?, a career site for women said. “It’s important to show that you’re ready to mingle with your new team – so save the packed lunch for another day.” Do not make the mistake of making plans with your friends for lunch to take you out on your first day or even the first week at work.
This is the golden window to connect with colleagues and get to know the social landscape at the office. You want to associate with the right crowd that’s enthusiastic about their roles and not the negative people at work. During lunch, relax and get to know your colleagues. You can also use this time to get to know the company culture and unwritten rules to thrive in the company.
Monica Leong is a storyteller at heart. Graduated with a Journalism and Public Relations degree, she is currently working in corporate communications and also contributes as a freelance writer and editor. Before entering the corporate world, she worked in female lifestyle magazines such as Marie Claire, CLEO, and PEARL as an editor and a features writer. Monica is passionate about writing and working on a short story and flash fiction anthology.