11 Jan New Job? Tips for the First Day
Want to make a good impression at your new job? “Be prepared on your first day.” It seems like simple advice, but it can be hard to follow.
You might not know what it takes to be prepared, even if you have experience and there’s a good on-boarding process. But no worries. There are some tried and true tips that should help you as you begin any new job.
Start early and plan ahead
It sounds easy enough, but many people neglect to do some simple things that could make or break their first day. Give yourself extra time to get ready, be sure you are positive of your route, and plan to arrive about fifteen minutes early.
You may even want to take some extra things with you – toothbrush, comb, mints, hair spray – just in case you need a last minute adjustment or confidence check.
Find out what you need
For some jobs, you don’t need to bring anything but yourself. For others, you might be expected to have supplies for your work area. Make sure you know if you need to bring anything with you, especially paperwork.
Ask questions, but stick to important ones
Just like an interview, your first day is an opportunity to ask some key questions. Look over any notes you’ve made about the job or recall some of what your contacts have said. If you are eager for some more information, ask straight away rather than wait. But don’t ask too many unimportant questions, since it might make you look more clueless than curious.
Of course you should listen closely to instructions you get. However, listening on your first day can help you navigate more than the job or the workspace. It can give you a heads up on personal dynamics between your new coworkers, help you avoid embarrassing mistakes, or give you information that will assist you in starting off right.
Accept help, but let your competence show
It’s nice if coworkers make you feel welcome, but some can be too eager to provide help or otherwise interfere. This is particularly true if you are young or stepping into a lower-level role.
Accept help and advice from others in a gracious way, but do your best to keep anyone from hovering over you or controlling how you start off. It’s important to be tactful while also projecting confidence.
Balance your role and your newbie status
Whatever your role, being the new employee can mean you occupy a nebulous status. Even if you’re an upper-level employee, there are some things you just don’t know about how things work at your new job, and your new co-workers will know this. It can be an uncomfortable feeling.
Make sure employees – above, below, and beside you – know that you appreciate what they can teach you, but don’t fall into the trap of deferring too much to others. It can be hard to recover.
Start your new job off right by planning simple things as best you can; ask questions and accept advice, but retain your independence and project responsibility; and always be ready to listen for any useful information that will help make each day feel a little more natural.
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