Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Your First Day at a New Job

Securing your first job out of college is a big milestone. You're grateful and relieved but also feeling a little anxious. You're confronted by the pressures of having new faces and personalities to deal with, new territory to explore and making a good impression without looking totally clueless.

I was extremely lucky to be employed even before I graduated. It can be a tough competition out there for fresh grads so I had to make a move early on. The company took me under training for two weeks before starting the actual work. I recall spending a weekend absorbing as much information as I can about the company to alleviate some of that stress. I know it's a lot to take in but this new chapter in your career can be exciting, almost bearable when you know how to survive the first day. 

Come Prepared
You probably familiarized yourself with the company's bio as part of the interview process. Do it again and review their website. Get to know what the company does, make notes and prepare to ask general questions about your role in the company. Avoid asking too many questions on the first day, though. Your boss may tell you to do so, but being a new hire isn't an open invitation to be guided through each task. You don't want to become a pest. Try to be self-sufficient on your own. You have plenty of time to master your new job.

Make a First Good Impression
This is incredibly embarrassing to share but I committed the biggest no-no. I showed up 30 minutes late on the first day of training. I was tagged as 'the girl who came in late and missed the free breakfast.'  That moment eventually became an inside joke and forever imprinted in my teammates' heads. It was a mistake not allowing enough time for an unfamiliar journey. 

Test drive your route beforehand to reduce the possibility of getting lost and resolve any congestion hiccups on the way. It's better to overcompensate and arrive at the office with half an hour to spare than running ten minutes late looking frazzled. Being late is a terrible position to be in. Never again.

Be Friendly and Sociable
Make an effort to reach out and introduce yourself to others. If you're naturally shy or prefer to work independently, try making small talk with the person next to you. A genuine smile can go a long way in any situation. Your new co-workers will be compelled to talk to you if you exude warmth and send positive vibes their way. 

Observe Office Culture
People differ in attitudes, personalities and values. Your first day is a time to observe and listen. When you're on a learning curve, don't feel the need to prove yourself to the point of making enemies. Nobody will appreciate you telling them how things should be done. Don't correct other people as you start your new job because every workplace has its own way of doing things. The more you adapt to the new office culture, the more you can fit in and get connected.

Turn this nerve-racking first day into a positive experience with prior planning and preparation. Don't be too hard on yourself, ladies. You were hired for a reason. Above all, live up to all the good things listed on your resume. Be confident and maintain your professionalism all the way. Congratulations on your new job!

Image source: freepik


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