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Tips for your first day at your new job

Making a good impression with your boss and your co-workers is vital on the first day of a new job.

Research about first impressions has shown that it can take less than a second for a person to form an opinion of you based on your physical appearance, body language, attitude, clothes and mannerisms.

Human beings have evolved to make huge assumptions about one another’s health, success, intelligence, competence, trustworthiness, temperament and wealth based on first impressions, and these can be very hard to change.

Read our tips for getting it right first time.

Dress to impress

In order to be perceived in the right way from the off, you should arrive to your first day of work well groomed and dressed appropriately for the company dress code. It could even benefit you to go a little smarter in the beginning.

Arrive early

Just don’t arrive too early – you don’t want to take your manager or the HR team by surprise and cause them any stress. 15 minutes early is perfect as it makes you look reliable and eager to get to work.

Prepare

Research anything about the company or industry you think you may need to know before you start work. You should also brush up on any skills you mentioned on your CV during the interview process that may now be a little rusty. Finally, it’s a good idea to prepare a quick elevator pitch about yourself for when you’re introducing yourself to new colleagues. Have a brief spiel prepared about who you are, where you’ve worked before and what your new role is. You may find yourself being asked many times throughout the day about yourself so this will make it much easier for you.

Smile

It helps to be friendly and approachable at work, particularly on your first day. Be sure to show interest in what others are saying, pay attention to your body language and work hard to learn your co-workers’ names early on.

Accept social invites

If you get invited to lunch or after work drinks, go! Even if you’re too tired, go along for a short time and get to know your colleagues. It will not only ensure you get invited to future events, but it’s also an opportunity to get to know more about the office politics and working relationships.

Be flexible

You’re starting at a new company and you need to be able to adapt to new ways of working, new systems for decision-making, sign-off procedures, power dynamics, and the protocol for raising issues, starting discussions and raising new ideas.

Pay attention to the unwritten rules

You will settle into your new office without ruffling feathers much more easily if you pay attention to the unwritten rules such as:

  • Where you put your dirty coffee cups?
  • Where you hang your coats?
  • Do people eat at their desks?
  • When does the workday really end? When the boss leaves? Or 5.00pm sharp?
  • How quickly do people expect email responses?
  • Do people prefer a phone call instead of an email for smaller issues?

Good luck!