10 tips for success on your first day of work

10 tips for success on your first day of work

It’s your first day at a new company, and you’re feeling nervous. The good news: You’ve done this before. The bad news: You still need to make a good impression.

There’s nothing like the excitement and anticipation that comes with your first day at a new job. The desire to make the best impression and show employers that they made the right choice when they offered you the job needs to be managed as naturally and professionally as possible.

That’s why a number of studies have looked at the behaviour of new recruits and revealed a number of situations and actions that they need to manage perfectly in order to make a good impression from the start.

First-day nerves are normal, but there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re prepared and comfortable.

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1. Ask questions — lots of them!

When in doubt, ask questions about your job and what’s expected of you; asking clarifying questions shows that you’re eager to learn more about the position and its responsibilities (and that you’re smart). No employer likes an absent team member. Don’t be shy about asking questions about the job, the people and the space you work in. The more interested you seem to be in the environment around you, the more you’ll be appreciated.

2. Arrive early

It shows that you’re eager to get started and will be a reliable team player. Make sure you have everything ready to go beforehand so that you don’t waste time during your first hour on site. If you’re late from day one, it will be hard to fix the image you’ve created in front of colleagues. Give yourself a little extra time for error and try to arrive at least 15 minutes before work starts.

3. Don’t refuse lunch with colleagues

If you are invited to lunch with colleagues, accept. In the short break you will be able to interact in a non-professional way with those with whom you will now spend a large part of your time.

4. Introduce yourself to everyone in the office

– even if they don’t initially seem important. You never know who will become your mentor or friend down the line, so it’s best to start off by making friends with everyone in sight.

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5. Smile and shake hands firmly

Even if you’re nervous, try to put on a confident smile on your face. You’ll be meeting new people who need to see that you’re professional and have what it takes for the job. A grumpy employee will be ignored by everyone. Be friendly and smile as much as possible. The atmosphere will be more relaxed and your colleagues will get comfortable with you much faster.

6. Listen and observe

Pay attention and take notes during introductions and meetings so you can follow up later with questions about what was said and done during those events. Be more aware of what’s going on around you. From discussions between colleagues to activities carried out by team members, try not to miss anything. To settle in quickly you need to understand everything that is going on around you.

7. Put your personal phone on silent

Constant beeping from texts, email notifications, and calls can be distracting for you and your colleagues. If you’re not expecting an urgent call, it’s best to just turn on your mobile phone’s vibrate option. Otherwise it might ring at the most inopportune times.

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8. Remember your colleagues’ names

Try to memorise the names of everyone you meet. Personal, direct address is extremely important. Those around you will be pleasantly surprised to see that you know who you’re talking to.

9. Get plenty of sleep

You probably heard this before but it’s worth repeating. Don’t party the day before you start work at your new job. You need to be fit, both mentally and physically. Preliminary results from a study conducted by American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggest that several sleep-related symptoms are associated with decreased work productivity. Believe us, you don’t want to look like a ghost on the first day of work. There are moments in your life when the first impression matters. This is one.

10. Use positive body language

People find positive language appealing, receptive and easy to confront. A positive body language must place us in a position of comfort, dignity, and likeability. To show you’re paying attention during orientation, use positive body language, like sitting or standing straight with your shoulders back. Try to face the person talking, make eye contact and smile when it’s appropriate. Practicing this body language can also show you’re approachable and friendly.

If you keep these tips in mind, your first day at work will be a success, and your colleagues will be looking forward to seeing you at work. What’s more, you’ll settle in quickly and integrate into the team in the most beneficial way possible.

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