First day at work? Make a lasting impression!
Job interviews are stressful, but the stress doesn’t end even after you’ve been selected! What’s more intimidating is the first day at work. Whether it’s your very first job or your fifth, the first day at a new workplace is a crucial one. Because you are new, you are naturally unsure of what exactly you should (and shouldn’t) do. But what you do on the first day will create the first impression, which can often have a lasting impact on your career.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to what you should do on the first day at work to create a positive impression on your colleagues and employers!
1. Arrive on time, stay late
Be punctual. This will not only reflect that you are a responsible employee but will also show that you value others’ time. Additionally, even if the office hours are 9 am – 5 pm, don’t simply leave at 5pm. Take note of how long your co-workers typically stay back at work and stay on accordingly. Once you are more comfortable in your position, you can set your own timings as per your workload and convenience.
2. Dress suitably
Work is never the place to display your preferences in clothes. Make sure to dress suitably and at least semi-formally so as to convey that you are a reliable and responsible employee. If the dress code at work is casual, you can gradually switch to appropriate casuals after a few days.
3. Maintain a positive attitude
Remain cheerful and enthusiastic at work, especially during your initial days. Work with eagerness and avoid complaining about anything at work. Keeping up a positive attitude is one of the key determinants of creating a positive impression.
4. Ask for help
Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You may want to prove your competence to the people around you, but it is likely that you may not know many things about the work and the company while you are still new. Instead of completing the task incorrectly, seek help from your co-workers and/or boss. Asking for help is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness!
5. Take initiative
On the first few days of the new job, you might feel a little unimportant or as if you are not really needed around. This is natural, as you are yet to fit into the company. In such cases, seek out work. Once you have completed your assigned work and have time to spare, ask your boss if there is anything more that you can do.
6. Separate the ‘personal’ from the ‘professional’
Sharing the details of your personal problems at work– especially when you are new– might cause your co-workers to assess you in a negative or biased way. The trivia of personal issues is best avoided at work.
7. Socialise with your co-workers
If your colleagues make plans to get together after work, be willing to join them. This will not only help you get to know them better, but it will also tell them that you are at ease, eager to mingle and work together.
8. Avoid office politics and gossip
Indulging in gossip about people at work is never looked at in a positive light. Avoid spending too much time with the ones who tend to gossip a lot.
9. Stay out of the limelight
On the first few days, you will be keen to demonstrate your knowledge and competence. However, it’s important not to do this too often and beyond a certain degree. Be open to others’ suggestions and advice without enforcing your own way of doing things.
10. Say ‘thank you’ often
You are likely to experience small successes in the initial days of your job. Make it a point to thank the people who helped you out in any way, answered your questions, and gave you their time.
11. Own up to your mistakes
Of course, you are also bound to make a few mistakes while you’re still new. Acknowledge your mistakes and work on fixing them rather than trying to cover them up or blaming others for the same.
12. Be organised
There is much to learn and keep track of at a new workplace. Devise a system to organise your work and to keep track of important meetings and deadlines. By running late, missing a deadline or failing to show up for a meeting, you will come across as inefficient and irresponsible.
13. Lunch with different people
Don’t wait around to be invited to lunch by co-workers. Take the initiative to invite them to lunch with you. This will help you get to know them better and will provide you a better insight into the company culture.
14. Get to know the company
Don’t stop reading up on the company once you’ve cleared the interview. Continue to expand your knowledge of the company—its latest challenges, competitors and upcoming events.
15. Be confident about your first impression!
Practice the aforementioned tips with confidence. By appearing confident, you appear successful! And that is the most important step in creating a positive impression at work.
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Vaibhav Punetha June 30, 2015
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