Have you found a new job and are all set to start in the New Year?
Congratulations! Now you can enjoy your Christmas break and give some thought about preparing for your first day and weeks in your new role.
From figuring out what to wear to remembering where your new desk is, all while trying to learn the ropes and make a good first impression on your new boss and co-workers, your first day at a new job can be stressful. Here are a number of things successful people do before and on the first day of a new job:
Plan your outfit. It is always better to turn up too smart rather than too casual. You will hopefully have grasped a feel for the general dress code during your interview but, when in doubt, take the conservative approach in how you dress and what you say and do. Be as professional as you were in the interview process.
Get some rest. If you’re going to start a new job on the 2nd Jan, you’ll have some time over Christmas to rest. However, if you finish your current job on a Friday and start the new job on a Monday – don’t go too wild over that weekend! You don’t want to turn up feeling tired or worn out, it’s just going to make you feel anxious and sluggish – make sure you get some rest so that you are physically as well as mentally prepared.
Practice the commute. On your first day, you really want to be arriving 15–30 minutes early – rushing in at the last minute will not make a good impression! It is a good idea to practice your journey at the appropriate time of the day to give you a good idea of how long you will need. Arriving in plenty of time will make you look committed, punctual and give you a chance to settle in and introduce yourself before the working day gets started.
Prepare some small talk. Be prepared to give a short explanation of who you are and where you were before, as many new colleagues will likely ask about your previous place of employment. Be prepared to also describe what you’ll be doing in this new position, since there may be people who have only a vague understanding of your role or simply want to strike up a conversation. Have a think about the kind of conversations that will make you appear interesting and interested – talking about the weather isn’t going to cut it!
Listen and learn. The best thing anyone can do in the first few days of a new job is listen! Be prepared to take lots of notes – during the first few weeks, you actually have a little leeway to make the odd mistake – no-one expects you to be perfect from day one. So don’t panic – this is your chance to listen and learn and then, in a year’s time, you’ll look back and realise your fears were unfounded and you had nothing to worry about.
Smile and enjoy yourself! It may have taken a while to reach this point, after searching, interviewing, and landing the job, so don’t forget to be happy and enjoy the moment! We all know that first impressions matter. Smile when you meet new people and shake their hands. Introduce yourself to everyone and make it clear how happy and eager you are to be there. Your co-workers will remember and it will make for an enjoyable transition.