Preparing for your first day with a new company can feel like a post-apocalyptic nightmare: you’re stuck on a burning bridge, zombies are on the loose, pterodactyls are circling in the air, and your spouse is trapped in an abandoned skyscraper full of ravenous lions.
Okay, it’s not that bad. In fact, it’s an extremely exciting moment in your life, both professionally and personally. But you still need to cross off a few tasks from your checklist before you step foot in the office.
The rest of this article breaks down the ten best ways to have a successful first day on the job.
- On top of a healthy diet, you need to stock up on sleep. Like your old gym teacher always preached, your body performs best when it’s properly fueled. If you have a few days or weeks of freedom before you start your new job, catch some extra zzz’s and allow your body to regenerate. You’ll walk into the office fresh, ready to work and far more alert. Plus, who knows when you’ll have another extended break to sleep in?
- Do some homework, study the company website and take plenty of notes. You’ll already feel a little out of place in a new environment surrounded by unfamiliar people, but there’s no need to arrive unaware of the company’s overall goals and strategies as well. Prepare a list of questions and impress your boss by showing some genuine interest in the company.
- Research the exact route to your office. You could go for a practice run – test the route a daybefore you start – or simply write down every twist and turn you’ll need to take on the way.
- Don’t make a bad first impression by showing up underdressed – or even overdressed. Get in touch with your boss before your first day and inquire about the office dress code. Again, you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons.
- Try your best to arrive exactly on time. Contact your boss beforehand and ask what time you should show up. You’ll likely have to undergo some basic training, so the last thing you want to do is force your boss to reschedule certain tasks because you were late.
- Make an effort to meet everyone in your office, or at the very least, everyone in your department. Introduce yourself to your new coworkers and repeat their names after you shake their hands – doing so should help you commit their names to memory.
- Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to ask questions. Your coworkers were once new to the office as well, so they’ll sympathize with your first-day plights. Pick their brains and absorb as much knowledge as you can. It’s better to be inquisitive early than to make silly mistakes after you’ve been employed for a few weeks.
- Listen, be receptive and soak up information like a sponge. You’ll establish your own modus operandi at some point, but study and learn from your coworkers for the first day or two. Take initiative on certain tasks, but always remain open to your coworkers’ advice.
- Don’t force yourself into conversations or try to hard to meet people. While you’ll want to make a good impression and rack up a few new friends on the first day, be patient. You’ll be spending the vast majority of your time with your coworkers, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to exchange phone numbers.
- Don’t clock out early, even if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs for the majority of the day. Prove that you’re a hard worker and dedicated to the job. If your boss tells you to punch out ahead of schedule, offer to stay late. If your boss demands you leave early, pack up your bags early.
It’s somewhat nerve-racking being the rookie of the office – you might feel like every eyeball in the building is focused on you. But starting a new job is also an exciting milestone in your professional and personal life. It’s natural to have some first day jitters, but try to relax and enjoy the moment. So long as you’re properly prepared, you should feel comfortable in your new environment.