First Day Tips to Help You Keep Your New Job
Congratulations! You’ve accepted an offer for a new job and left the unemployment ranks that are nearly 14 million strong in the United States. With literally millions of individuals vying for a job, your new focus has to be on keeping it. Here are a few tips to make a strong, lasting first impression on the first day.
Your successful first day actually starts before you arrive. Figure out your new schedule and learn your commute. Start adjusting to your new wake up time prior to day one. Your body will thank you in the long run. This also means taking a realistic look at your commute. Remember, lunch hour is not rush hour, so time your commute at the hour you will actually make it, and test it on multiple days.
Day one is more about fitting in than standing out. Dress accordingly. If you didn’t pay attention to your surroundings during your interview (HINT: Interviews give you more than just an opportunity to speak with your future employer), learn them now. Revisit the company web site and learn about their clients, their mission, key employees and the company’s history. Also, make sure you are dressed appropriately, and keep in mind that you can overdress just as easy as you can dress too casually. If you don’t remember how your co-workers were dressed from your interview, call Human Resources. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to make a call to HR a few days prior to starting anyway. Ask what you are expected to bring, confirm your arrival time and location, and request any other necessary information. Not only does this demonstrate responsibility, but it also gets your name in front of another key employee, albeit subtly.
On the night before, get plenty of sleep. Leave yourself plenty of time in the morning for a good breakfast. Remember, the first morning will most likely be filled with orientation, reading, and plenty of meetings about insurance, office policy and other things that will overload your head. We all know these orientations are often painstakingly boring, but they are necessary and it is important you fight the urge to join your new co-workers that may be nodding off.
Speaking of co-workers, get to know them. Learn their names as soon as possible. People respond positively when they feel important enough to be remembered. Be polite and courteous to all of them. BUT, don’t overplay your attempts to fit in. Your first day is not the time to join in on office gossip. Leave your jokes at home as not everyone shares the same sense of humor. Take some time to listen and observe… your turn in the spotlight and to outshine your co-workers will come later. Right now, focus on making friends and becoming the person co-workers are willing to help, not resent. An early target on your back will have you rejoining the unemployment ranks quicker than you realize.
Finally, take notes and ask questions. Focus on the names and positions of your co-workers, and key work topics discussed. If you don’t know the answer, ask questions. Taking initiative is a wonderful skill to get ahead, so long as you are performing tasks correctly. Your boss and co-workers would much rather help than have to fix your mistakes and redo your assignments. Your priority needs to be on learning the job and doing it properly. You can feel pretty confident that a promotion won’t occur the first day, but learning your job quickly and properly is a great first step.
Keep these tips in mind and the first day of your new career can be gratifying instead of menacing.
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