Published: 07 Aug 2019
Updated: 28 Jul 2021
Category: Career , Career Development

Nail Your First Day at Work: 7 Tips on What to Do


First day at work in a new company can be stressful. You’re going to a completely new place and meeting a bunch of new people, not to mention getting acquainted with your new duties.

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful. There are things you can do to make your first day in a new company easier and more enjoyable. Here are some useful first day work tips. Apply them and you are bound to nail your first day.

1. Show Up Early

Your first day of work checklist might as well start with this one. Showing up some 15 minutes early will earn you some positive points before you even speak a word or shake a hand. This way, you’ll show your new employer that you’re serious and have good time management skills.

On the practical side, if there’s a bunch of paperwork to be done, you will be able to do it without hurry. Likewise, if you’ve landed a job in a big company, it is possible that you will have group onboarding. You should arrive early to avoid the long line at the front desk.

That being said, you shouldn’t get there too early. Your new manager might feel bad if they see that you arrived before them. Everything more than 15 minutes is too early.

2. Dress Sharp

Many companies, especially bigger ones, still have dress codes and expect their employees to look professional while at work. Looking the part might improve your manager’s overall impression.

On the other hand, if the company has no dress code and employees dress casually, you wouldn’t want to stand out too much. Looking too sharp might produce a counter-effect with your new colleagues.

All that being said, your best bet is to inform yourself in advance. Then, dress just like your new colleagues or a notch sharper. For example, if everyone’s wearing t-shirts, you might opt for a button-down shirt.

3. Prepare a Short Introduction

In case you are starting in a big company and you have a group onboarding, chances are that you will be asked to introduce yourself to your colleagues in several sentences. Some smaller companies do that, as well.

Even though it depends on the company whether or not you’ll have to formally introduce yourself, it doesn’t hurt to be ready and prepare your first day of work introduction speech. The speech should cover your name, age, position you’ll be working at, etc. You might want to throw in a fun titbit or two about you and your interests.

4. Introductory Email

After the official introduction, you should send your co-workers a first day work email. The email should be concise and express your openness and willingness to co-operate. The tone of the message should vary slightly, depending on the recipient.

If you’re sending the email to your team members, the tone can be casual, but still polite and respectful. If it’s an email for your manager, the tone should be slightly more formal.

You might also send an email to the clients you’ll be working with, if there are any. The tone should be formal, but not cold.

5. Ask Questions

Since you’re new, you might as well take advantage of it to ask questions and get to know your new work environment better. Feel free to ask about how things work around the office. Also, casual questions are great first day at work conversation starters.

Aside from learning how stuff works, you will also start establishing relationships with your co-workers. As you probably already know, our job satisfaction and success at work largely depend on the relationships we have with co-workers.

Show that you’re friendly and open, but be careful not to ask too many work-related questions the very first day. There will be plenty of time for that.

6. Don't Bring Your Lunch

When going to the new job, you shouldn’t bring your lunch with you. Instead, you should make it a point to lunch with your colleagues, even if it is expensive. It is a perfect networking opportunity. If you don’t get an invitation, make sure to invite someone instead.

At lunch, you’ll have the chance to casually chat with your colleagues and get to know them. What’s more important, they’ll get the chance to get to know you. You should try to relax and not talk too much about job during the lunch.

7. Pay Attention and Listen

Instead of talking too much, you should pay attention to how things are done around the office. You should also listen to your manager or boss, as you might get a clearer understanding of what’s expected of you, your team, and the company as a whole.

It is not a bad idea to bring a notebook and write down important rules and guidelines. That way, even if you forget them, you will have them written down.

Good Luck!

Starting at a new position can be tough, but it can be a lot easier if you prepare beforehand. With these seven tips, your first day at work should be a breeze. Good luck!



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