How To Make Your First Day On The Job Awesome
Starting a new job is exciting but it’s also very nerve-racking. You want to make the right first impression, but what if you do everything wrong? Will your boss think she made a bad choice in hiring you?
Don’t worry, if you screw up on your first day you can recover. And usually your new boss will realize that it is your first day and give you some slack. “Most of the time you are considered in the honeymoon period and you have a lot of leeway to screw up, which you don’t have once you’ve been on board for six months,” Wendy Capland, CEO of Vision Quest Consulting, a leadership development firm, told MadameNoire. “There really isn’t much you can do, within reason that would be considered a screw up. Most people think, ‘Well, she didn’t know any better because she’s new here. Let’s give her the information she needs so it doesn’t happen again.’”
The answer to being calm, cool, and collected on your first day is a little prep and a self-reminder to be on your best behavior. “Your first day on the job sets the tone for your entire term of employment at your new workplace, so you want to make a good impression,” Sherri Mitchell, co-founder of All About People, a national recruiting and staffing franchise, told MadameNoire.com. “Try to avoid anything that makes you look like a poor worker, which can include being late, doing poor work, or wasting time surfing the Internet or social media. You should also take care to make sure you avoid bringing up office gossip or talking about how little you care about the job or company, to make sure your coworkers don’t doubt your work ethic.”
Beyond that you should also do the follow to ensure you ace your first day:
—Set your alarm clock–and don’t hit snooze. First, be on time–even if you have to wake up early. If you arrive late you will send a signal that this new job isn’t very important to you. And that’s not a career-boosting message to send.
—Hello, Hello, Hello. Introduce yourself to as many of your co-workers as you can. This is a great icebreaker.
—Lunch and learn. Get to know your new co-workers outside of the office. If no one asks you first, invite a fellow co-worker out to lunch. This is one way to discuss the culture of the office in a more relaxed environment.
—Don’t be in a rush. These are new surroundings for you, give yourself time to adjust. “It takes time to become familiar with a new organization and to build supportive coalitions. Give yourself time,” said Capland, who is also the author of Your Next Bold Move for Women.
—Ask questions. Don’t come in acting like you know it all, because most likely you don’t. So ask questions, and remember no question is a silly question. It’s better to ask a “silly” question and do something right than to stay quiet and mess up.
—Blend in. While you want to stand out because of your work and talent, you also want to blend in. So on your first do don’t start asking for special things–like time off, new office furniture, etc.
—Put in the time. It’s not a good idea to head for the door when the clock strikes 5 pm. By doing so, it will show your don’t have a lot of interest in the job. Work a few minutes longer and leave your boss with a good impression.