Take a look at these 13 top tips on how to tackle the first day of your new job:
- Make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before
- Dress the part, and follow the dress code
- Plan your route to avoid any nasty surprises
- Bring any necessary paperwork if it’s needed
- Be prepared to make mistakes
- Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions
- Talk to strangers, and get to know your colleagues
- Resist the urge to leave on the dot everyday
- Share your opinion if it could help the company to progress
- Build up a strong relationship with your team – you’ll be spending a lot of time together
- Show willing, and always ask for things to do
- Avoid the office gossip and politics
- Research as much as you can about the company and the industry
The first day of any new job is always bound to be a little scary. Finding the job and getting through the interview is easy in comparison. Once you’ve managed to bag your first graduate job, the next step is knowing how to impress and get through your first day. Short term loan provider, Mr Lender, has put together a few handy tips on how to tackle those first day nerves.
Sleep! (Though not on the job)
Getting plenty of sleep the night before your first day at a new job is certainly one of the most important things to consider. Research shows not getting enough sleep can severely affect productivity. Research also shows, that someone running on less than five hours sleep for a few nights in a row, has the equivalent of a 100 milligrams of alcohol in their system. To put this into perspective, the legal driving limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milligrams of blood!
Dress the part
Following the dress code is vital when it comes to starting a new job. Always check beforehand what the dress code is, and make sure you are well presented on your first day. If the dress code is casual, don’t turn up in a suit, but also don’t turn up in your Glastonbury outfit. Keep it professional, and in line with the dress code.
Plan your route
Always plan your route the night before. You certainly don’t want to be late on your first day by getting caught in traffic because of road works, or miss your train and have to wait half an hour for the next one. Always check and make sure you know the route before setting off, and if you’re driving you need to make sure you know where you can park.
Bring your papers
Find out if you need to bring any paperwork along for your first day. Quite often an employer will ask you to bring along your bank details and National Insurance number, as well as proof of address and confirmation of your degree if necessary.
You can’t know it all
As much as some of us would certainly like to think we know everything and anything there is to know about something, the fact of the matter is we don’t. So although you may have been studying for your new job for the last three years, you still don’t know everything. Be prepared to make mistakes and ask plenty of questions.
It is always important to ask plenty of questions. It is far better to ask questions than to make a mistake and have someone else redo the job anyway. Although you may be a little bit annoying to start with, your colleagues will certainly appreciate the effort, and they’ll appreciate not having to redo your work. Asking questions also shows that you have an interest in the company and the job, and your colleagues will certainly pick up on your enthusiasm.
Talk to strangers
This goes against everything any adult told you as a child – but definitely talk to strangers when you start a new job. Say hello to everyone and always greet people with a smile – even if you’re not on their team, they will certainly remember you and will tell others how lovely and friendly you are. It will make a great impression if you’re happy and friendly in your new workplace.
Don’t clock watch
Being late on your first day is certainly a huge no-no. But leaving as soon as your hours are up is also frowned upon, especially in the first few weeks of your new job. If you work a 9:00am to 5:00pm job, expect to work 8:50am to 5:30pm to begin with at least. Arriving early and leaving late shows you are interested in the job, and that you are committed to finishing your work. If it gets to 5:00pm and you find you don’t have anything to do, ask around and find out if anyone else needs your help before you leave.
Have an opinion
If you spot something which you believe could help the company, offer your opinion. Your idea may have already been suggested by a colleague, but it is certainly better to offer your opinion and to be told “thank you, but no thank you”, than to not say anything at all and assume it has already been suggested.
Learn to get along
You will be spending a lot of time with your colleagues, so make sure you get along with them. Get to know them, and learn to get along with them. Assuming you work a nine to five job, with an hour lunch break in between – that’s seven hours of working with your colleagues each day. If we assume you have eight hours sleep a night that leaves you with 16 hours – eight of which are spent at work. So learn to get along with them!
Show you’re eager
Take on as much training as you’re offered and make as many notes as you can. This shows you’re clearly willing to learn as much as possible about the company and the job, and you’re eager to progress. Another good tip, is to show your appreciation when someone goes out of their way to help you. This shows you’re a kind and friendly person to work with, and not only will this leave a good impression on your bosses, but it means more people are likely to go out of their way to help if they can see you clearly appreciate their help.
Also, never assume that just because you have finished the task you have been given that you should simply sit there twiddling your thumbs until you’re given something else to do. Always ask for extra work, even if you’ve never done it before. Not only will this show that you’re eager and willing to learn, but it also gives you the chance to learn more about the different roles and responsibilities within the company.
Avoid the gossip and office politics
Although this may seem like an obvious one, avoid joining in with any office gossip and politics as this is only going to damage the reputation you have tried so hard to build. It can be easy to get swept up into conversation and give your opinion on something or someone, especially as the rookie, but these sorts of playground antics will only come back to bite you further down the line.
Research as much as possible
You should have already researched and read up on the company at the interview stage, so you’re certainly a little behind if you’re only just reading up on the company on your first day. But it is always worth brushing up on your knowledge and getting to know the ins and outs of the business. Ask for an employee handbook on your first day, and any company documents which will give you more information about the business, and will help you to learn more.