Starting a new job is exciting. However, the truth is, it can also be quite overwhelming and stressful. Like most people, you might feel nervous to join the workforce of a new company. Which of course is absolutely normal.
Nonetheless, if your first day at work is approaching, you can’t leave it up to chance and hope that things will go smoothly. It’s a smarter move to plan properly for the big day in order to make it more manageable and less daunting. After all, first impressions last!
Below, we have compiled 10 smart hacks that will help you beat the jitters and slay your first day at work.
1. Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Pretending to know something you don’t can do more harm than good. Be honest when it comes to your present skills and knowledge, especially with regards to the usage of software programs or office equipment that are unfamiliar to you.
Keep in mind that there are things that you simply can’t learn through research. Ask your HR department or your colleagues about things you can’t seem to resolve on your own. For example, when it comes to understanding internal processes and policies.
2. Ask the right questions
As stated previously, asking questions is important, but you must also ensure that they are well formulated. Asking the right questions demonstrate your enthusiasm to learn and your curiosity about the company.
Refrain from asking unnecessary or too many questions. Write down some general and role-specific questions and use your list as a reference. You can also contact your HR department before your first day to find out relevant information about who you’re supposed to report to and what’s expected of you during your first week (In case this wasn’t clearly outlined during the interview process).
Additionally, it pays to do sufficient research on your company’s history and recent dealings, as well as profiles of the executives and department heads.
3. Always be accessible
Expect to be pulled in multiple directions for first-day requirements such as filling out documents and meeting colleagues within the different departments of the company. Especially, if your new role involves a supervisory or senior position. Ideally, you would want to meet everyone you’re going to be working closely with. Yet, it’s important to still remain accessible while juggling these first day requirements.
4. Avoid talking too much or being too quiet
Remember that it’s not your responsibility to carry the entire conversation. Speak up when you have something substantial to say or a question to ask/answer. But don’t be too silent either, as this can make you appear snobbish or give the impression that you’re not adjusting well in your new role.
5. Punctuality is the key
Arriving late reflects poorly on your level of commitment and influences your productivity and mood for the rest of the day. A recent study conducted by York College of Pennsylvania revealed that the majority of the respondents affirmed that lack of punctuality and poor attendance are the top factors that can lead to a job dismissal. Of course, you’ll probably not get fired for being late once in a while. However, your employer may see you as unreliable, if you’re late on when this becomes a habit.
Additionally, arriving 15 minutes earlier can provide you with ample time to settle down or accomplish some required paperwork before you start your work. Also, it’s important to not abuse your lunchtimes and always get back in the office on time.
6. Take notes
Make sure you take notes to avoid having to repetitively ask for explanations. Additionally, it’s better to actually take notes on paper rather than typing on a mobile phone, as you can easily be mistaken for using social media or texting when you do the latter.
7. Dress appropriately
If the company enforces a dress code, adhere to its regulations accordingly. But even if that’s not the case, it’s still vital to look professional and wear something comfortable. Avoid wearing new shoes so you won’t end up with blisters at the end of your first day. You could also prepare your outfit the night before to save time.
8. Familiarise yourself with the environment
Your office may not be too spacious, but it’s important to have a full tour of specific areas within the company. Make sure you get to know where you can find meeting rooms, the kitchen and pantry, specific departments, bathrooms, and office supplies. In terms of finding good places to eat, you could do a quick online search. If you’re travelling to work by public transport it would be good to familiarise yourself with the different transportation alternatives.
9. Avoid inappropriate topics
Employee engagement and interaction is necessary for promoting efficient workflow and team spirit. With that being the case, keep in mind that the way you converse and interact with your new colleagues may make or break your future working relationship.
Research shows that there are two fundamental qualities that can ultimately leverage your career: trustworthiness and integrity. In fact, those who are entrusted with management roles are individuals with agreeable reputations. Thus, if you’re aiming to fast-track your promotion, don’t participate in office gossip or talk badly about your previous organisation.
10. Pack all essential supplies
Lastly, take a few minutes to double-check all the requested paperwork and other requirements that you’re supposed to bring on your first day at work. For example, this might be your a form identification such as your passport or ID card, your signed contract or employee pay details.
Although it’s normal to feel nervous during your first day at work, you can lessen the anxiety by making sure you’re prepared. Being fully equipped will not only help you get through the day but manage it impressively and successfully.