Starting a new job can be an intimidating process. There are new employees to know, new bosses to meet, and countless things to learn about your new employer. However, don’t let any of this get in the way of having an effective start in your new role! Utilize the following 10 steps to make the best impression on your first day and guarantee it’s a success.
1. Get a good night’s rest
It is a scientific fact that sleep plays a critical role in the memory and learning functioning of the human brain. Since you are more than likely to be given a large influx of information when you start, it’s essential that you get rest the night before you start. The first thing you can do to prepare for your first day is to get the recommended 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep. This will ensure that you're alert and able to absorb any and all new material sent your way.
2. Think ahead about wardrobe
Chances are you will have a lot on your mind that first morning so don't let choosing an outfit be on that list. Plan what you are going to wear ahead of time, preferably the evening before. It is always better to be dressed in a more business conservative manner rather than business casual, just to be safe. This will give you the opportunity to go in on your first day and get a feel for what types of clothing people wear on an average day. It is recommended that new employees stay away from bright colors and stick to more basic tones such as black, grey, and navy blue.
3. Be on time
There is no better way to get off to a bad start than by showing up late, especially on your first day. Know when and where you are to report on day one and if you have the chance, try to do a run through of your commute beforehand. That way you know exactly how long it will take for you to get to work. Showing up a few minutes early will show dependability and give you a chance to meet your coworkers before everyone starts their day.
4. Do your research
It is extremely important that you have a full understanding of your new employer before you start. Know the organization’s mission, their business goals, and any recent news about them. An organization’s website will hold a lot of this key information and should be researched as well. Taking the time to go through employee profiles on their website or through LinkedIn will help to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your new organization and the people you will be working with.
5. Learn names and make a personal connection
Before you arrive to the office, take time to practice your introduction. Your first impression establishes the foundation of your relationship with your coworkers, so eye contact and a strong handshake are a must. It's especially important to remember the names of at least your direct coworkers because it gives you credibility and builds trust when you can call them by name on day two. Also, don’t forget to let the members of your team know how excited you are to work with them!
6. Put your cell phone on silent
Cell phones can be distracting in the workplace. Not only should your cell phone be on silent on that first day- it should be put away. Yes, they are a big part of life, but you don't want to give off the impression that you're preoccupied with your phone rather than your orientation.
7. Express curiosity and ask questions
If you don't have the answer to something - ask. It shows that you want to learn and that you're interested in finding solutions. This is your chance to have any uncertainties cleared up before you really get to work. After a few weeks pass and you're starting to get settled, there will be an expectation that you know most of the basics on how your office operates.
8. Listen and observe
Although it's important to ask a lot of questions when you start, the first day is also about listening. It is not the time to have a strong opinion; it is time to hear about your manager's goals and the priorities of your position. A general rule of thumb is to listen 80% of the time and to talk 20% of the time on day one.
9. Get to know everyone’s roles
When starting out, it’s important to get an understanding on not just the role you will play in the office, but how other roles are essential as well. This will help you to better know your coworkers and how you will best fit into the structure of your work environment. A team works best when each member has a clear understanding of their own role and the roles of other members.
10. Dive in!
You will need to be clear on what your designated responsibilities are, but at the same time, don't be afraid to stretch your capabilities. In most situations on your first day, you will be given small amounts of work. Don’t just sit and wait for a new assignment once you’re finished – ask for another one! This will show your new employer true initiative and your motivation to be part of the team.
These tips are all very important to implement on your first day but it's also as important to continue with these habits as you move forward at your new job. This type of follow through will show your employer that you are more than just a good first impression!
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