How to Survive Your First Day
New beginnings are exciting—and also terrifying. If your new job’s start date is coming up, then here are a few tips to help get you in the groove and be successful on your first day. It never hurts to have a game plan!
- Look (and play) the part. You want to make a good first impression, right? Then dress up and “talk the talk.” If you’re shy, try your best not to show it on your first day. Who knows what doors a great first impression might open for you? Also, while it’s important to be confident, try not to be “over the top”. You don’t want your new colleagues to think that you’re just a schmoozer.
- Prepare an elevator speech. You’re going to meet a million people, and at first, you won’t know if they’re an executive or an intern. What “story” do you want to tell to the office?
- Be observant & listen, listen, listen. What does the social landscape look like? Who’s talking to whom? How are things accomplished & decisions made? You won’t pick it all up on your first day, but absorbing as much as you can (early on) will help you quickly learn the lay of the land.
- However, don’t make rush judgments. The first day of a new job is anything but normal, and things aren’t always what they seem. So, before you make any big assumptions, give it some time.
- Ask questions & take plenty of notes. You won’t know if you don’t ask! Taking detailed notes will prevent you from having to ask the same questions again—and again—and again.
- Accept help when it’s offered. If someone’s willing to help you get familiar on your first day, they’re probably going to be a good resource for you. It never hurts to make allies, and you’ll probably need their help again at some point. Who knows? They might end up becoming your office BFF.
If you’re still stressed about your first day, just remember that it’s only your first day. Nobody “gets” everything right away, and all of your new coworkers have been in your shoes before. Remember to smile, be yourself, and enjoy the beginning of this next stage in your career!