15 First Day on the Job Tips
It’s human nature for new co-workers and colleagues to form perceptions about the “type” of person you are based on initial impressions. These snap judgments can turn into long-term perceptions that may impact your career trajectory, and ultimately success, at an organization. That’s good news for people who make a positive impression. But if you make a negative first impression, it could haunt you — and your career — for a long time. This article explores 15 first day on the job tips.
1. Arrive early, stay late
A punctual arrival shows that you are organized, value your work, and are considerate of your co-workers’ time.
In addition, be aware of the company culture as it relates to the workday. When do people typically leave? Even if the workday is advertised as 9 to 5, leaving at 5 won’t score you any points if everyone else is staying until 6.
Follow the lead of your colleagues in the beginning. Once you are secure in your position you may be able to ask for more flexibility.
2. Dress the part
Whether you like it or not, people will judge you on how you look. In most situations, work is not the place to show off your Goth leanings or your love for all things hippy.To convey a message of reliable, organized, trustworthy, and efficient, dress professionally. If your work dress code is more relaxed, you can relax yours as well, but do so after people have gotten to know you.
3. Show up with a positive attitude
Be pleasant, enthusiastic, and friendly with everyone you come in contact with. Tackle all duties with eagerness, and never, ever complain about a particular duty, your job in general, or your co-workers or colleagues.
Being positive is one of the best ways to make a lasting first impression.
4. Ask for help
It’s tempting to want to prove your competence the first days on the job. But no matter how skilled and knowledgeable you are, you won’t have all the answers.
Rather than complete a job incorrectly, ask your co-workers and colleagues for help when you need it. No one expects you to know everything, and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!
5. Take initiative
It’s common to feel overlooked or as if you’re not really needed as it’s figured out where you fit in. Once you’ve completed certain duties, don’t hide in your cubicle until someone tells you what to do next.
Instead, seek out your boss, tell him or her you’ve completed the assigned task, and ask what you can do next. When extra duties come up and you don’t have a full plate, raise your hand and volunteer to do them.
6. Check your personal life at the door
Sharing that you’re in debt up to your ears may cause others to view you as irresponsible, disorganized, or careless — qualities that aren’t appreciated in the workplace.
Keep your personal problems to yourself, and avoid using company time to solve them.
7. Socialize with your co-workers
Does your workplace have a softball team, a cooking club, or simply a group of people who go out for drinks every Tuesday night? Be sure to join them.
Not only does this build rapport and solidify relationships, it also shows that you’re a team player.
8. Avoid office politics and gossip
Stay far away from the rumor mill, and avoid associating with people who are powering it.
Talking trash or spreading rumors is considered negative behavior that has a divisive effect on the workplace.
9. Stay out of the limelight
It’s very tempting to highlight what you know the first few days on the job. After all, you want co-workers to know how qualified and competent you are.
But constantly putting yourself in the spotlight will give you nothing but an unflattering rep as a “know-it-all.” Instead, listen to others, be open-minded about their suggestions and approaches, and share your knowledge without forcing it on others.
10. Say “thank you” often
You’ll likely enjoy a success or two (even if they’re small) your first few days on the job. When you do, be sure to share credit with those who helped you.
Make it your policy to thank those who answer your questions, pitch in their time, or otherwise make your job easier.
11. Own up to your mistakes
Just like you’re likely to enjoy successes, you’ll also make a few mistakes your first few days on the job.
When you do, own up to them, and develop a plan to fix them. Never point fingers or blame your mistakes on others.
12. Be organized
The first few days on the job can feel like landing in a foreign country, as most organizations have their own unique rhythms.
Develop a system to keep track of meetings, projects, and deadlines. Missing an important deadline or failing to show up to a critical meeting will label you unreliable, undisciplined, and inefficient.
13. Have lunch with different people
Instead of waiting for them to invite you, invite your co-workers to lunch.
Lunching with colleagues will help you build a rapport with them, and will also put you on the fast track toward understanding company culture.
14. Get to know the company
Don’t stop researching once you’ve landed the position!
Read all possible literature provided by the company, keep up with what’s happening in the news with the company and their competitors, and keep track of their social media efforts through sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
15. Celebrate the positive first impression you’ve made
Be confident in all the steps you have taken to show co-workers and colleagues who you really are. When you appear confident you appear successful, and that’s key to making a great first impression!
A great first impression can lead to career success
A great first impression can open doors, while a poor one can slam them shut.
By following the tips in this article, you’ll increase your chances of making a positive first impression — the kind that can have a long-lasting impact on your career and success.