11 Essential Tips To Ace Your First Day At Work
Our guide offers practical tips to help you feel confident and well-prepared on your first day at a new job.
Your first days at a new job are crucial for setting the tone for your future at the company. It’s completely normal to feel a bit anxious and worried while settling into a new workplace, regardless of how many times you’ve changed jobs. However, entering your new job prepared can set you on the path to success.
Here are some essential do’s and don’ts to help you ace your first day at a new job and start on the right foot.
#1 – Plan your commute
Even if you’ve already tested your route to the new office during the interview stage, the regular Monday rush-hour may throw you a curveball. Just because it took 15 minutes once, doesn’t guarantee the same for your first day. So, factor in extra time to arrive early, account for traffic, and find parking. You may wish to use Google Maps to gauge an average daily commute. It’s better to be early and relaxed, than late and stressed on your first day.
#2 – Review your onboarding materials
Most companies share a list of resources and handbooks before your first day. Make it a priority to read through them. These documents often answer many basic questions you might have. It’s not the best look to ask your HR manager questions that were already addressed in the orientation materials provided. Taking the time to review these documents shows initiative and helps you start your first day with a solid understanding of what’s expected from you.
#3 – Bring a notebook along
While your new employer will likely provide basic stationery, it’s always wise to bring your own notebook to jot down important details. From new tasks to contact information and crucial reminders, having a notebook on hand will keep you organised. Plus, writing in a physical notebook appears more professional and attentive than tapping away on your phone, which could be misconstrued as being distracted or disinterested.
#4 – Switch your phone to silent
Speaking of phones, it’s best to switch your phone to silent during your first day. It would be embarrassing to have your phone ring while being introduced to your new team or management. While there will be moments throughout the day to check your messages and calls, make an effort to be present and set your phone aside. Being fully engaged not only shows respect to your new colleagues but also helps you absorb all the important information shared.
#5 – Prepare your elevator pitch
During those first days and weeks at work, you’re going to be introducing yourself, a lot. So, having a concise and well-prepared elevator pitch will serve you well. This doesn’t need to be elaborate, just a brief overview of who you are, the role you’re taking on, and perhaps a bit about your past work and educational background. This preparation will not only save you from fumbling through introductions but also help you create a positive first impression with everyone you meet.
#6 – Accept lunch invites
The initial days at a new job can feel isolating and overwhelming until you find your groove. So, if a colleague extends a lunch invitation, accept. While there may be times in the future when you prefer a solo lunch for some quiet time, it’s important in the early days to establish rapport with your team. Use this time to be sociable and get to know your colleagues. Building relationships from the start will help you integrate into the company culture and make the transition smoother.
#7 – Avoid gossip and office drama
While it’s important to socialise and get to know your team, try your best to steer clear of office drama and gossip. It’s not a good idea to immerse yourself in toxic behaviour. Remember, you’re there to build strong, professional relationships, not to partake in negative conversations.
#8 – Ask questions
Your first days will likely bring up many questions, from understanding certain processes to other basic or more complicated matters. Don’t hesitate to ask. It’s better to clarify doubts early on than to make mistakes later. To avoid bombarding your manager, HR, or team members throughout the day, consider noting them down and asking all at once. This approach shows that you’re attentive, organised, and respectful of others’ time.
#9 – Hold off from snap judgements
It takes time to truly understand people and a workplace culture. Sometimes, the colleagues you initially think you won’t gel with end up being the ones you connect with the most, and vice versa. So, resist forming early judgments, especially negative ones. Just go with the flow, absorb the new experiences, and find your own place within the team at your own pace.
#10 – Pitch in
Being new doesn’t mean you can’t contribute from the get-go. Feel free to share your ideas during meetings and discussions. However, it’s also crucial to be mindful of boundaries. If your team has been working on a project for months, it might not be wise to dismiss their ideas outright. Instead, be constructive and helpful while suggesting ways you feel you can assist. Balance is key. Be confident in sharing your perspective, but also respectful to the existing dynamics and efforts of your new team.
#11 – Check-in with your manager
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your direct manager is crucial for success in any job. Make an effort to check in with your manager at least once a day. Keep in mind that managers often juggle numerous responsibilities and requests, so they may not always be available for an immediate catch-up. However, this shouldn’t deter you from checking in at the end of the day to share your experiences, ask any questions, and clarify your responsibilities. Your proactive approach will likely be appreciated, and your manager should be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.
Starting a new job remotely?
If you’re gearing up to start a new job remotely, it undoubtedly brings its own set of challenges and concerns. Ensure your success from day one with our comprehensive guide How To Successfully Start A New Job Remotely, designed to help you navigate the unique obstacles of remote work and start your new role with confidence.
For more insightful job-related tips, be sure to check out our extensive guides and articles in our Candidate Resources