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Starting a new job can be incredibly daunting. In this article, we share some practical advice on how to make your first day run smoothly.
Searching for a new job, preparing and tailoring your CV and landing the interview can all be difficult tasks in themselves. After successfully accomplishing all these, you now find yourself in that fabulous position of having secured the job you really want. But there’s just one more thing to get over – the first day on the job!
Having placed numerous successful candidates in the right job we have a few tips which you might find helpful in creating a good impression on your first day.
The day before you start
Prepare – don’t leave things to the next morning that can be done in advance. Have your clothes ready and make sure you dress appropriately. If unsure of the dress code, then choose something more conservative for day one.
Bed early – get a good night’s sleep. The first day on the job you do not want to arrive bleary-eyed, tired and listless.
On the day
Arrive on time
If you are unsure how long the journey will take (especially at peak times), then always allow extra time. It is better to have time to spare than arriving late. You can refine things later, but on day one, be on time.
Meeting your future colleagues
Most companies will bring the ‘new recruit’ around the office to meet the team (yes we know it can be a bit embarrassing and a little uncomfortable). Be friendly, but not overly friendly. You will be bombarded with names and handshakes so remembering all of them is not really doable or indeed expected. However, we advise you try and remember those seated closest to you and/or those with whom you shall be working.
Dealing with information overload
Everyone’s first day is full of job specific information, company policy and ‘ways we like to do things’. There will be a number of forms to be filled for HR, passwords etc. to be set up by IT and the list goes on. Have a notebook with you and take notes – because you simply will not remember everything. This leads us to the next point…
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Seriously, your first few days are exactly the right time to ask for any help you need. Generally, your colleagues won’t mind you interrupting them and asking for help. So don’t sit at your desk trying desperately to figure something out – just ask. In fact it can be a good way of making conversation with those seated closest to you.
Don’t be a know-it-all! Your fellow workers may be in the company for years so trust them, they know how to get things done in the way the company wants it done. So listen to them when they share their knowledge. There is nothing more annoying to your colleagues that someone who has just joined the company telling them how to do things. And if your job is to re-engineer current processes, then use your first few days for listening and not contradicting – you’ll be surprised what knowledge you can gleam.
What to do at lunchtime!
This can be a really good time to get to know your colleagues, so if you get an offer to join them for lunch – accept it. If the lunch offer is not forthcoming then simply start the conversation by enquiring where the best place is to go for lunch etc. But relax, most employers and work mates make an effort with the ‘newbie’ especially on the first day.
End of the day
You made it, but don’t be tempted to just grab your coat and run for the door. Linger for a bit, get your desk ready for the next day and bid your colleagues farewell. And most of all get a good night’s sleep and be ready for day 2.