How to Kick Butt on Your First Day at Work

13 Jan 2016
by Sara Kramer
Comments are closed
First day of work tips and tricks

So, you got the job. Congratulations! While you can relax a little bit (the stress of the interview is over and you crushed it!), you still have your first day to worry about. So you’ve already made a good impression on your hiring manager, but now its time to meet the rest of the team and hit the ground running. Needless to say, your first day at work is important. Just as important as everything you’ve done so far to get the job.

No need to worry, we’ve got your back on this one. Check out our tips on how to have an amazing first day at your new job.

Start before your first day

What I mean by this is, do your prep work. Ideally you’ve already done a lot of homework on the company you’re working for. But, if you haven’t, you better get crackin’. Even if you have, do more. Google your new company like you’ve never googled anything before. Look at recent blog posts, article, press releases, the LinkedIn page, Facebook Page and Twitter, anything you can get your hands on. You don’t want to show up the first day and not know what’s going on in your new company. See how much you can find out about their company culture and how they operate. Your new boss isn’t going to want to waste time bringing you up to speed on things you should already know.

It’s also a good idea to do a dry run of your commute, During the time frame of your daily commute. See how long it actually takes you to get there by 8:00 am. The last thing you want is to be late on your first day.

The night before, set out all your clothes and anything else you need to bring. A smooth morning routine is going to put your mind at ease and make you feel more prepared. Plus, it’ll ensure you’re not running late because you can’t find your other shoe.  Along with that, make sure you dress the part on your first day. Don’t dress too formally or too casually, you don’t want to stand out. Hopefully you got a good idea about what the dress code is from your interview, but if you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to an HR representative and ask what people usually wear.

The morning of

Get up early and eat a good breakfast. You want to make sure you’re on your A-game today. Fuel your brain so you can be sharp and ready to absorb everything you learn.

Plan to get there around 10 minutes early. You don’t want to seem too eager, but you do not want to be late! This is the first thing your new boss gets to evaluate you on. Do you respect their time? Since it’ll be awhile before you really get into your work, you’ll be judged on these seemingly silly things for awhile. Factor in 10-15 more minutes to your commute this morning. There could be some unanticipated circumstances that can cause more delays than you expect. If something out of your control causes you to be late, let your boss know. If you happen to get there too early, sit in your car for awhile. Listen to your favorite song or take this time to take a few deep breaths.

Once you get there

So, now you’re dressed for success. You’re early so you feel relaxed, you’re well fed, and you’re ready for your first day to officially start. Now’s the easy part. You’ll probably be walked through the office. Try to remember as many names as possible. This is hard, absolutely, but do your best. Here are some tricks to help you out. It’s gong to be overwhelming, so if the situation arises and you can’t remember someone’s name, just admit it. Say something like “Hey I’m so sorry, I’ve met like a hundred people today, can you remind me your name again?” and do better next time to make sure it sticks.

Keep your phone in your pocket, on silent. Turn on that “Do Not Disturb” button and avoid taking peeks at it throughout the day. Even putting your phone on vibrate can be distracting. You never know how loud it’s going to be, and it’s best to NOT have that happening when you’re trying to pay attention to the absurd amount of information your boss is going to throw at you. Get a feel for the company culture surrounding phones for a couple days before you start using yours.

Take notes and ask questions. Like I’ve been saying, you’re going to get an astronomical amount of information thrown at you. Write down anything and everything you can, especially when your boss is showing you how to do something-like logging on to company software.  These are the kinds of things you don’t want to have to ask to be reminded about, as they’re probably a waste of your new boss’s time. That being said, find someone who you trust and can go to with simpler questions. This way you don’t have to be asking your boss something every 20 minutes, but can save the really important questions for them. Hopefully, writing down as much as you can will help you remember, but in the case that you forget, it’s always better to ask than to guess.

It’s also important to get a feel for how your boss wants you to communicate with them. The Art of Manliness recommends these questions:

  • Do you prefer updates through face-to-face meetings, email, or voicemail?
  • Do you like frequent check-ins, or do you like when people mostly work on their own?
  • What are my responsibilities?
  • What are the priority levels for those different tasks?
  • What is your metric for success on those tasks?
  • How do my responsibilities fit into the organization?
  • What are my co-workers’ responsibilities and how do they relate to mine?

When it comes to lunch, we actually recommend you pack a lunch for your first day. This can allow you some time at your desk alone to take a breather, get settled and organized, and review your notes. However, if you’re invited to lunch, to eat with anyone, or to drinks after work, always say yes.

When you’re walking around the office, getting coffee, or hanging out in the break room, try to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Again, the amount of names might be overwhelming, but there’s no better time to start a conversation than your first couple of days. You have the perfect opener: “Hey, I just started here, I’m the new ____ and my name is ____, what do you do here?” While it usually comes recommended that you be yourself, we would caution you to stay on the conservative side of things until you fully understand the company culture you’re working in and the type of people you’re around.

Although it’s unlikely you’ll be given too much work to do your first day, in the event that you do, get going! If you finish early, ask for more. Take this opportunity to show your initiative and self-starter-ness. Take some time to get yourself organized and think about how you want to go about completing your tasks and projects. Create a system. This can always be modified- but do your best to get something in place as soon as you can, so you can get in the groove quickly.

Relax. You got the job for a reason. You can do it!

Well, there ya have it! Hope you have a kick-ass first day that will jump start an amazing time at your new company.

Good luck!!

Kranect © 2017