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10 Tips for a Successful First Day on the Job

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve given a number of interviews, landed a great job – and now you’re ready for your first day at the office. While stepping into unknown territory is always going to be a little scary, there are ways to ease those nerves and breeze through your first day of responsibilities.

Here’s how to make your boss and co-workers notice you on your first day (and for the right reasons!):

1. Learn Names in Advance

A big concern about the first day on the job is the number of people you’ll meet (and the number of names you’ll need to learn). It’s a good idea to get a head start by checking out the company’s “our team” page if they have one. Look up the personnel of the company and put names to faces before you head to the office. This will not only help you break the ice, but it will help you start networking from the moment you enter the building.

You can also look up your co-workers on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other similar websites. Search by roles, departments, and more. A lot of getting ready for a new work environment is about preparation.

2. Dress Smartly

You got the job, now it’s time to make a statement. While it’s fine to overdress a bit during the initial stages, you should also be mindful of the organization’s culture. Nothing screams “I’m new” like wearing a freshly ironed formal white shirt on your first day at a hip jeans-and-t-shirt-type company. One way to avoid this mistake is to ask your manager about the dress code.

3. Accept the Lunch Invitation

It’s crucial to show your co-workers that you are ready to blend in and work with them as a team, and lunches are a great way to strike up a relationship. Even if you’re a complete introvert, you should still say yes to any invitations that may come your way on the first day. If your manager or colleagues invite you to share a snack, they’re probably just interested in knowing you on a personal level and helping you feel less awkward in the office.

4. Be Humble

Recognize that there’s going to be a lot of teaching during your first few days at the office. Be respectful, curious, and humble. Also, try to understand how things are run before attempting to change them. You want to become an employee whose voice is respected and heard. Your co-workers and boss will respect and listen to you only if you’re willing to respect and listen to their instructions first. If you don’t understand something or get stuck at a point, ask for some help and guidance and take notes.

5. Put Your Personal Life on Silent

The nagging social media icons may be begging you to go online and tell everyone about your new job. However tempted you may be, hold off until the end of the day to log on to your social accounts. If you’re distracted by your phone, you could easily appear to be disinterested—which is not the message you want to send on the first day.

6. Smile and Relax

You’ve made it through a tough interview process and were the person who came out on top, so you have every reason to smile. A simple smile helps people know that you’re approachable. Also, remember to relax and get plenty of sleep the night before. It’s also a good idea to reach the office a few minutes early so you can soak in the new workspace and surroundings without feeling rushed.

7. Take Initiative

It’s always good to be proactive on your first day at work, and what better way to start things off than by asking your boss or manager if there’s something you could assist them with. There may not be much to do in the first few days as employers often like newcomers to get a feel for the office dynamics before they dive in. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start learning new things. If you feel you’re ready to take on your first task, you could also speak to your supervisor to request an early assignment or project.

8. Go in With a Positive Attitude

During the first few days, everyone’s attention is going to be on you. Your colleagues and co-workers are going to be assessing your work ethic and attitude, so you’ll need to ensure they perceive you as someone with a positive outlook and grit (not a grump who is ready to rush out of the building at 4:59). Make sure to be upbeat, positive, and engaged.

9. Greet People with Enthusiasm

If you really want to win on the first day at your job, then you’ve got to overcome shyness and greet everyone you cross paths with. Doing this will help you come across as cheerful and confident. Also, do your best to greet everyone by their names.

10. Be Yourself

A new work environment might make you feel like you have to be something you’re not in order to meet expectations. Remember that the company hired you with your unique life experiences and personality traits. Give yourself permission to be authentic—it’s the only way you can truly shine.


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