July 28, 2015, by Laura Estrop

How to nail your first day at work: seven top tips

By Laura Estrop, Social Media Officer 

You did it! After writing an incredible CV and covering letter, you aced the interview and got the job, congratulations! But now you’ve finished celebrating and reality has sunk in; you start your brand new job bright and early on Monday morning. Before you start to panic, follow our seven simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to impressing your new boss.  

  1. Smile!


Having a positive/can-do attitude is the easiest way to make a good first impression. On your first day you should aim to treat everyone equally and friendly. A polite “hello” to a fellow colleague when walking down the corridor, is free and never hurt anyone. Even if you have a more shy personality, a simple smile will go a long way.

Photo: Takashi Hososhima: Shiny smile

  1. Be punctual


Being late on your first day or during your first week is not the way to win over your new boss. You should aim to arrive at least five minutes early during your first week; making sure that you have planned your journey ahead of time will help here. You should make allowances for traffic and finding a parking spot, if you’re driving; or if you’re taking public transport, make time for unexpected delays. Trust me, being 15 minutes early and having a walk around the area will put you in a much better mood/state than running to work panicking that you’re not going to make it on time.

Photo: Gunilla – Time goes by

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask


If you’re not sure what you’ve been asked to do, ask! It’s better to speak up when you’re struggling than to sit there for an hour unsure what to do. That approach won’t show you in the best light, especially when your boss asks to see the work you’ve completed so far. Asking for help when needed shows that you care about getting things right. Remember, it’s your first day; you’re not expected to know everything straight away.

Photo: GotCredit: Help!

  1. Don’t decline a task or opportunity


If your boss asks you to run a DVD or document over to a colleague in a different building, don’t reply by giving them an “are you serious?” look. Take it all in your stride; the person who you are meeting could be someone important within the company. Likewise, if you’re asked to take part in a focus group or a training session on something you’re already fluent in, don’t say no. You never know what you may find out by being there. It’s all valuable experience, embrace it!

Photo: Geralt 

  1. Listen and make notes


You may not be aware how overwhelming your first day might be. You’re being told a lot of new information, meeting new people and being shown around new locations, it’s unlikely you’ll remember it all. I would recommend buying a cheap notebook before you start and taking notes as you go along. Also, make sure you listen to how people in the office talk to each other, e.g. how they answer their phones or resolve issues. These are little things that may be overlooked when you’re being told what you’ll be doing, but knowing office/company etiquette when it comes to small things like this will help you in the long run.

Photo: Kaboompics_com

  1. Do a little bit of research before you start


This is something that you may have already done before you went to the job interview, but depending on how long ago your interview was, that information may have changed. Double checking the company’s share price or social media accounts the night before you start will give you a sense of how the company is currently performing and show your employer that you are genuinely interested in the company. 

  1. And most importantly, have fun

This is the most important tip of all. While I would never suggest playing pranks or messing around while you’re at work, make sure you don’t forget to enjoy your time there and make great memories. Have a laugh with colleagues; join in with team socials and office activities, building a relationship with your colleagues will help you in the long run.

If you would like to know more about how to act in a professional work environment, then see our advice. Remember you can book an appointment with one of our team to discuss any thoughts you may have surrounding your new job.

Photo: Pixabay

Posted in Careers Advice