There’s nothing quite like a first day of work to set your nerves alight. There are new people to meet, a company culture to adapt to, a work wardrobe to coordinate, and on top of that you’ve got a new job to do! Here are five easy tips to ensuring your first day runs smoothly and successfully.
Be on time
Tardiness will never work in your favour when it comes to making a good first impression on your first day at work. Even if you have a solid excuse (dropped my keys off a bridge, train was overrun by snakes, my six alarm clocks failed) your colleagues and manager might think it sets a precedent, or worse, that you’re too careless to show up on time.
What’s better than being on time? Getting to work early. If you’re driving, take note of the traffic conditions and ensure you’ve allowed time for any unforeseen delays or disruptions. If you’re planning on walking, take a test stroll with a friend just to be sure your calculations are spot-on. Being early gives you time to settle the nerves and alleviate any anxiety associated with your first day of work.
Use your elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a 15 to 30 second summary that tells people who you are, what you do, and in this case, what you’ll be doing for the organisation you’ve just joined. You’ll get introduced to a lot of people on your first day, so make sure yours is polished.
Being able to confidently, yet succinctly, tell people about yourself will assure all those you encounter that you’re perfect for the role, and generally set you up as someone worth listening to.
Interact with others
Keep your nerves at bay and interact with others in your new workplace.Try asking questions to new colleagues that show you’re inquisitive and interested, but avoid rude or brash questions. Good starting points including enquiring about the work culture, the workplace itself, and if you will be working closely with those you’ve been introduced to.
When it gets to lunch time, join a group at the local cafe, or buddy up with a table of those who’ve brought their own. Use this time to find common conversational ground with others, and refresh before the afternoon kicks off.
While you’re meeting many new people, do your best to remember names too. It might be hard, but consideration and memory of this sort go a long way in creating professional and personal relationships that go the distance.
Watch, listen and learn
Although you’ve been hired for your skills and experience, you are still new - so be a sponge, and soak all the good stuff in. Look for work styles and attitudes that most suit and inspire you, and take note of any potential mentors, even if they sit in a different department.
Lastly, don’t forget it’s normal to feel out of place on your first day. You got the job because you’re you, and because you succeeded at multiple interviews. So, ease up a little and try to enjoy the first day. Not only does it get easier from here on in, but each first day in a new job will make you better and more confident at the ones that will no doubt follow.