Your first day in a new job is a daunting prospect, it’s been potentially weeks since you were offered the role and even longer since you interviewed for it. The first few days are important to ensure you make the right first impression and start the next stage in your career on the right foot.
Whether you’re joining as the CEO or the office assistant, there are a few simple steps that will help you shine on your first day.
1. Confirm the basics – speak to your line manager or recruiter before the big day and confirm what time you should be at the office and the dress code you should adhere to. Once you know what time you should arrive, make sure you aren’t late. Double-check your route and anything that might delay you on the day. It’s better to be early and find a coffee shop to sit in and wait than arrive late. On the reverse if you’re asked to arrive at 10 am, there is a reason for the late start, so don’t turn up at 9 am. This just shows you can’t listen to and follow instructions.
2. Names are important – depending on the size of the company you could have a lot of names to remember. Unless you’re a memory wizard it will be hard to remember them all. Try to focus on learning those colleagues you’ll be working with the most. If you’ve not been given one, ask for a seating plan, this will help you match names with faces.
3. There is no such thing as a stupid question – this statement definitely rings true in your first few days and weeks. You won’t be expected to know everything so make sure you ask anything you need to know. This can be big questions such as asking your manager what the current challenges are within the team, to asking a colleague the best place to go for lunch.
4. Listen and take notes – you will be doing more listening than talking in your first few days. You’ll be bombarded with information, it can be a little overwhelming at times and impossible to remember everything. Carry a pen and notepad with you and take notes during every meeting, especially for processes etc you’ll be doing on a regular basis. While point 3 does mean you can ask how to do things, people will soon get fed up if you ask the same question every day.
5. Put the pieces together – starting a new role is like completing a puzzle. You’re given all the pieces and have to work out how they all fit together to make up the big picture. Try to keep this in mind when you meet people, are shown processes or attend meetings. Think about how this piece of the puzzle fits into your role and the wider organisation.
It takes time to settle into a new role and team, and the first few days and weeks will feel odd at times while you get used to it. But everyone has been the ‘new person’ at some point and nerves are totally normal. It’s easy to say, but try to stay relaxed and be as normal as possible, you’ve been hired for a reason and everyone wants you to succeed.
‘How to impress on your first day……’ was written by Lesley Colella, Career Concierge, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.