Your first day at work can be exhilarating, so follow these tips to set yourself up as a rising star in your company.
Once you have passed the taxing hiring process and have the offer letter in your hand, it might be time to celebrate, but there is still the final hurdle of facing the first day at work and finding your feet in a new environment. Starting anything new can be stressful, and figuring out what to do, wear, where to go, can be difficult on the first day at work.
Almost everyone has memories of the first day at a job, especially if you are starting afresh in the job market. There is a heightened pressure to impress, not put a wrong foot forward, and appear to have things well in hand. All this is achievable if you plan ahead and do due diligence on what not to do and what to expect. Most companies have an onboarding process, but it still is prudent to come prepared.
David Pernall, a communication coach and legal consultant says in an interview to weforum,
Make The First Day At Work
“It’s easy, even tempting, to passively ride along with the human resources tour that usually sets off the first day of employment.” There will be forms to fill out, videos to watch, people to meet, and generally speaking, no real position-specific responsibilities.” He adds, “But taking a passive versus proactive response would be a mistake. The first day sets the tone for the rest of your career with those who you’ll be interacting with.”
Come prepared with a set of questions. Your background knowledge of the company should be strong by now. Ask relevant questions pertaining to your role. It is good to have a contact in HR whom you can ask basic questions about the form, your benefits, etc.
Do not be late. It is better to reach early, that way you avoid any last-minute dashes to office. Vehicles do get stuck in traffic.
Prepare a file of documents that are required to be carried along.
Take your time to study the social dynamics of the office. It is essential to get along with your co-workers, but more important to be aware of the office cliques in operation. It isn't very easy to get the lay of the land in one day but keep your eyes and ears open.
New recruits tend to find a pleasant face or a more sociable person and hang on to their coats. It is not a good move.
Parnell explains, “In any sizeable work environment you will find cliques, and some mesh better with management than others. If you want to eventually move up in the ranks with your new employer, you’ll need to associate with the right crowd.”
Present a relaxed and pleasant demeanor. Do not sweat the small stuff. It is your first day, and you are not expected to know everything. Do not get performance anxiety.
Smile , greet everyone and introduce yourself. Important aside; do not meander, have a small introductions speech about yourself ready.
Ask for help
As explained above, do not be anxious to do all by yourself. If you are given a task and do not know how to proceed, ask for help. Whatever your knowledge and skillset, you are not expected to know the particulars of that office processes and procedures.
Lastly, dress appropriately. It is always better to err on the side of caution. Unless a specific dress code is given, taking a semi-formal route is best. See that your dress is freshly pressed, clean, and the color is pleasant and not garish. Do not ignore your footwear. Men need to wear clean and polished shoes, and women too should take care not to come with scruffy sandals or boots.