Did you just land a great new job? Or are you almost ready to make the plunge? You may be feeling nervous about your first day.
Don’t worry! It’s completely normal to feel a bit of anxiety and uneasiness when starting a new job. Not knowing anyone at the company and not knowing exactly how things are done can be a bit intimidating at first.
But if you can make a good first impression on day one, it will start you off on the right foot. Here are five expert tips for what to do one day one.
1. Show Up On Time. Better Yet, Show Up Early
Showing up on time, or early is a rule you should live by, whether it’s day one or day one thousand.
Sure, your new coworkers will probably be pretty understanding of the fact that you may not have known where to park. That scenario is forgivable and understandable. But it’s not the best way to start.
Make it to your desk on time on day one and you’re sure to impress. Scope out the parking situation when you do your interview. If you’re unsure about traffic, or how long it will take to get there, drive by before your first day. While doing your drive by, scope out where to park.
Set your alarm early and aim to show up around 20 minutes early. That way, if you do get lost, you can still make it to your workstation at the expected time.
2. Ask For Help…
Today’s job market is competitive, and fakers are easy to sniff out. So rather than pretending you have all the answers when you don’t, ask for help. It shows maturity, and it demonstrates your commitment to getting the job done right.
If you have a question, make sure you ask the best source for advice. Direct all questions to your manager or supervisor, and you’re sure to get the correct answer.
3. …But Don’t Be a Pest
Asking questions is a good thing—but you don’t want to come off as being overly needy and inexperienced. No one is going to expect you to know everything about the job on the first day. That’s unrealistic. They also won’t expect you to learn everything on your first day. That will come with time.
So no many how many questions you may have, and there may be many, think about the ones that you need answered immediately. On day one, only ask questions that are relevant to your initial job tasks.
Plus, by not asking too many questions on your first day, you’ll give yourself the chance to discover the answers for yourself. Working to answer your own questions shows that you can problem solve, and that always makes a great first impression.
4. Show Some Initiative
No matter how little work you’re given on your first day, do not sit around and wait for people to tell you what to do. It’s crucial that you show some initiative!
If you’re assigned three simple tasks and you complete them thoroughly, take the initiative to do some tasks on your own.
For example, reach out to the HR department and make sure that all your paperwork is in order. Find out if there are any specialized training sessions you need to attend and create a timeline so you can knock those out right away.
5. Be Polite
This almost goes without saying, but be polite. You should always be kind and considerate at work – it’s the professional thing to do. But it’s especially important to go above and beyond on your first day.
Walk around the office and introduce yourself to your new colleagues. Make sure that you ask their names and titles in return. You might even want to write them down or make an office map cheat sheet so you know who sits where.
Whenever you bump into someone, refer to them by their name. Not only will they be impressed (everyone likes to know they’re remembered), but it will also help you memorize names.
And no matter how friendly some of your new colleagues may be, steer clear of any and all office gossip and rumors. It’s not uncommon to have people try to “warn” you on your first day of quirky or weird employees. Don’t give in. Engaging in gossip, especially on your first day, is a quick way to make a terrible impression.
The best way to make a good first impression on your first day is to be confident. You already got the job, so be positive and maintain a good outlook.
If you really want to make a great first impression, show up early. Ask for help when needed but don’t ask so many questions that you become a pest. Don’t just sit around waiting for someone to come to you – show some initiative and offer your new colleagues your assistance when needed. And most of all, be respectful and polite.
With these tips in mind, your first day and every day at your new are sure to be a success!
Cat Thomas has over 15 years’ combined experience in multifamily, retail and other industries. Currently, as Director of Marketing for Broadstone Brickell, she oversees research, discovery and execution of creative, content, digital and strategy efforts.