Punctuation and appearance
Arrive on time
Here’s a simple but effective tip to start off any job. Arrive not only on time, but early with plenty of time to spare. It may feel a little silly waiting for the office to open, but it is best to take into account anything that could make you late and show your enthusiasm from the first moment of your new role. It is best to arrive fifteen minutes early on your first day. It is likely you will face HR managers who are not quite ready for you, but the easiest way to leave a negative first impression is to arrive late to your first working day. Arriving early displays many positive qualities, including commitment and organization. You also need to consider your new morning commute. Will you hit Monday morning traffic jams, or a crowded train route? Leave your house early and take any possible bumps in the journey into account.
Arrive with the right look (and the right attitude)
You can’t afford to be shy on your first day of work. Greet your new co-workers with a smile and a confident handshake. Introduce yourself properly to everyone you meet. Let your excitement shine, clearly sending the message that you are happy to be there and are ready to take on your new challenge. If you need a boost in your confidence, it can be a huge help to dress the part. Start your next step on the career ladder on the right foot by dressing your best. Wear your smartest clothes, and spend a little extra time in the morning on your grooming routine. If you like wearing make-up, put on your best face. Not only does this help make a good first impression, but it will also help boost your own confidence. You may be able to relax your grooming standards, or dress in a more relaxed style later in your role, but carrying on the professionalism you showed during the interview stage will really help with first impressions. If you are not sure of your company’s dress code, e-mail the HR department in advance and ask
Be prepared to listen, but have your questions ready
The majority of first days (and even first weeks) in professional office roles will be taken up with the tour of the company and setting you up as an employee. Be ready to sit and fill out paperwork, watch introductory videos and read employee manuals. It is likely you will also meet representatives across your company in a series of informal introductory meetings to learn more about everyone’s role within your wider team.
It is likely you won’t be able to make a good first impression through your actual working output until at least your third day in the role, so it is better to embrace this ‘setting up’ stage by preparing yourself to take in a lot of information, but also engage in the material by thinking of questions to ask. It can be easy to feel passive while you are being told a lot, so it is important to remain engaged in what you are being told, even if it is health and safety procedures for fire drills. Demonstrate that you are engaged and curious to learn more. You have an active interest in your company. Bring a notebook or laptop with you to write questions to ask as you go throughout the day.
Embracing a new environment
Learn about the company culture
View your role within the first week as an investigative journalist. Ask questions and take notes, rather than talking extensively about yourself. It is a time to listen to and understand the culture of your company. You can learn the key roles of figures within the company, who is influential, ask to see performance reports or examples of work and projects to get the full context of the work being produced. Each business has a unique culture and political landscape, and it is best to work out what this is before you either make alliances, or work out where you will fit within that system. Don’t assume too much about a company’s culture, it will differ to what is presented in employment branding materials and in the interview stage, but once a landscape is established in your first week of employment, it will be easier to navigate.
Aim to make a friend
Aim to make at least one friend on your first day. Ask a team member to lunch and have at least some quality one-on-one social time with one of your colleagues. This can help you ground yourself within your new environment and help you ‘get up to speed’ on the company culture and existing relationships. There will be ‘unwritten rules’ (such as how to navigate the tea and coffee run) around your company culture which you can quickly work out if you have a friendly face who can help you. Build your new relationships on a strong foundation from day one and you will feel the benefits of this for years to come in your career. Ask colleagues and team members on what they are working on right now and let them know your skills, strengths and how you can help them out. Start these new relationships on a positive note, with a focus on team spirit, sharing knowledge and helping others as much as possible. It is also important to find out about further social opportunities on your first day. Find out about team socials, sports teams or more informal groups who enjoy to go for an after-work drink on a Friday
Approaching with positivity and enthusiasm
Show a keen interest in everyone you meet. All the information you can find out will help you in your role. The more you learn about people, the easier it will be to do your job in the future. Learning who to approach for certain information and with certain questions will help you evolve your role and help you assimilate into the existing team. Show positive thinking. If you think a HR policy is a good idea, let your HR manager know. Focus on your body language. You do not want to come across as shy and disinterested on your first day. Make sure you are smiling, pleasant and friendly with everyone you meet on the first day. Avid negativity, such as speaking ill of your last employer. You also want to avoid negative team members on your first day. If a team member approaches you with complaints, negative comments or gossip, do not engage with them. Though the information may be important, it is vital not to start your new role with negative thinking or complaining. Being positive is one of the best ways to make a lasting first impression, and may even help reinvigorate a flagging team.
Go with their flow, not your own
No matter how experienced you are in your role, you are not experienced in the way your new company does it. It is likely you will need to adapt to new systems and processes, so pay attention. It may not quite be the way you are used to, but it is best to embrace change rather than kick against it. Keep quiet about the processes used in your old company. If you have ideas which you genuinely believe will transform your workflow, it is best to present this as a solution once you are a little more grounded in the company.
Are you a professional looking to take the next step in your career? Contact us today for a confidential discussion with one of our talent specialists