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How to crack your first day at work

Written by Kimberley Startup | September 12, 2013 | 2 Comments

New Employees croppedStarting a new job is like starting your first day at school. The initial excitement when you’re first offered the job is slowly eaten up by panic and nerves: What if I don’t fit in? How will I find my way around? What if no one likes me?

But it doesn’t need to be this way. A little preparation & a bit of bed-time reading can really make the difference between a mediocre or totally rewarding & fulfilling first day on the job.

So without further ado, here are 10 ways to ace your first day in your new role.

1. Mentally prepare yourself

Do you exercise regularly? Are you getting enough sleep? This may seem personal, but all of these habits will impact your professional performance.

If you need to rectify any of them, doing so in-between finishing your old job and starting your new role is the perfect time.

2. Test drive your route

Whether you walk, bike, bus or drive, make sure you test drive your route to work before you start. Even better, test drive your route at the time you will be doing it to take into account any external factors such as rush hour traffic or the school run.

Turning up late to work on your first day because the traffic was bad is not an excuse that will go down well (especially if all your colleagues made it in on time).

3. Do your homework

54% of new starters have a lack of knowledge about their new job function and the company they’re working for, according to a recent Webrecruit ( survey.

But if you want to make a good impression, then it pays to show up with a clear understanding of what the company does and the role you play within it. Read your company’s website, follow them on social media platforms, research the job and keep up-to-date on your industry’s facts & figures.

4. Take a notepad

Your first day will be info-overload with a whirlwind of introductions and meetings. You’ll meet three people called John, be told the ins & outs of what everyone does, along with which door to run to if there is a fire.

How will you ever remember all these names, where to go and who to turn to? Take notes – you’ll thank yourself later.

5. Stick to the 90/10 rule

That means you should listen 90% of the time and talk 10% of the time. As an extra little tip, use that 10% talking time to ask lots of questions.

6. Dress to impress

I’m sure it goes without saying, but have a shower, wash your hair, brush your teeth and comb your hair and ensure you look your very best.

If you’re unsure of the dress code at your new place of work, drop your new employer an email to find out. Alternatively, have a sneaky peak at the company’s pictures on Facebook or Pinterest – there’s bound to be some office photos on there that will give you a visual of the office attire.

7. Pack a lunch

Every working environment has its own lunch culture. And if you’re unsure of what it is, then make sure you’ve packed a lunch. You never know, you may get invited to have lunch with some of your new colleagues on your first day, but that’s no guarantee and you don’t want to end your first day hungry.

8. Be friendly

A great way to put yourself and others at ease is with your friendly personality, so put on your best smile and be nice to everyone you meet. If people seem a bit off-ish to begin with, it’s only because they’re worried you might upset the mo-jo or perhaps you’re sitting in the seat of their dear friend who got the boot.

9. Determine your goals

Establish what you want to get out of the situation and set clear goals from the beginning. By determining from the start what your goals are, you can start off on the right foot.

10. Thank everyone who helped you land your job

Let them know their assistance has paid off, that you’re now employed and with which company. Your network can be one of the most influential places when it comes to your career. And you never know, word of your enthusiasm may get back to your boss through your network and it will only reinforce that you were the right choice for their job.

While starting a new job is exciting, too often than not it’s also a bit overwhelming. But just remember, the person who hired you knew what they were doing. And nobody expects you to learn everything at once.

Ask for help when needed, observe closely and listen carefully so you know and understand what is expected of you. Thorough preparation and the right attitude can make sure you start your job feeling exactly how you did the day you were offered it.

2 thoughts on “How to crack your first day at work

  1. Kalejaiye on Reply

    Thanks for this info. Well done sir. Knowledge is power and to be informed is to be in form. Putting all these tips into practice will go a long way in helping new staff to achieve great bonus at work. Shalom

  2. First Call CS on Reply

    First impressions are last impressions, this is certainly a fact in the recruitment industry! But my word of advice would be to not overstress, be nice but don’t go overboard and bring a fruit basket for everyone on the first day.

    Researching the company is not just something for the interview, it can make you seem more prepared than your colleagues in the long run. One instance this would work brilliantly for is meetings, you can bring your own initiative and show how this fits into the company policy.

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