Right in front of the mirror, as you look forward to your first day at work.
In that nostalgic moment, looking back at what seems to be a reflection of you; you are thinking about your boss, your team. New faces, new challenges, new stories; what are your team members like? Are they cooperative or disobliging? should you walk up to them first or allow them throw their arms open?
You’ve probably drafted out a plan for the whole day – Get to work and just keep mute. Or. Get to the office and shake all the hands you see.
You’ve probably prepared your introductory speech too.
You are doing all of these or you are too panic-stricken to do anything at all; because this day is very important to you. And you don’t want to mess it up.
Agreed, it is a herculean task but these few tips will help you throw a good first leg and save the rest of your stay in that organisation.
As a new employee, your first few mistakes will most likely be laughed at and forgotten soon but you can take down some of these tips to make sure you don’t create a lasting impression as the work joke of the century or as the type of person your colleagues keep you out of the “friends” list.
Arrive early. This is one mistake you don’t want to make; you’ll have odd days like that but, by all means, not on your first day at work. For one, you really don’t know what to expect, your colleagues may have plans to give you an official welcome address or the HR would want to take you round the office first thing in the morning before everyone settles into their routine. you don’t want to be that guy everybody heard about but never met.
Be Professional. A key takeaway on your first day at work – Make sure you show some professionalism: don’t let your phone ring out loud, don’t bring in smelly food, don’t wear cheap pungent perfume or one with a very strong scent.
Don’t Overdo it. You can’t build a strong bond with a colleague on your first day so don’t force it. Don’t be in everybody’s face, easy with the Superman stunts.
You’d eventually find a group of friends you are comfortable to hang around the office with. But if you start your first day finding out who rocks and who doesn’t, you might end up ruining potential relationships before they existed.
It’s really not about you. Fine, you are the new employee and probably the next big thing that organisation has yet seen but don’t make it about you. When you get a chance to talk about yourself to a coworker or to your team-mates, don’t make it an opportunity to rub it in people’s faces that you bagged a Ph.D at Harvard or that you’ve run 10 successful companies before. That’s the time to draw people in to the real You.
You can talk about your previous experience but don’t kill the excitement of your new job by sounding like you miss your old life. Show that you love where you are and are looking forward to better times with your new team.
Plus it’s actually really cool when people know all those other awesome things about you without hearing it first from you.
Get a quick whiff of what’s hot. Are there new projects on ground? New set of rules? Anything that’s not mere office gossip. And don’t chip in on anything you don’t have a meaningful contribution to.
Walk up to your boss and ask a few questions about your role; or for help around tasks and requirements that are new to you.
Ask for help around different places in the office environment, like the Gents or the kitchen. Don’t play God, you are not expected to get it all right on your first day.
Don’t hesitate to find a significant other, if you are the only new hire in your team, it might be a little difficult to get around with the team but if you have another newbie who just popped into the office, then it’s a good thing for you; at least that helps to spread eyes around instead of having them all focused on you.
Be yourself. Admire a coworker’s personality all you want but don’t try to be what you are not, it is the wrongest way to start, you won’t keep up for long. So save yourself the stress of trying to fit in.
Working in a new place can be overwhelming and you’ll most likely be forgiven for dropping a bomb on your first day. If you make a mess of yourself on the first day, it doesn’t mean you can’t make up for it.
But it’s rather safe to start right.
What was your first day at work like? What other tips do you have for a “first-timer”? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.