GLASGOW, UK, February 2014 – The first day at your new job may be among the most memorable — and perhaps stressful — of your career.
You've gone through the taxing job search process — spending hours perfecting your resume, days preparing for interviews, and weeks trying to impress your new employer — and now that you've landed the job, you'll need to live up to their high expectations.
Most of us remember our first days at every job because of the heightened pressure to impress. You can reduce your anxiety by being as meticulous in planning your first day as you were in securing your new position.
Here are 17 things you should do on the first day of your new job:
1. Prepare and ask questions. Although the first day really is more about listening; you can and should ask questions when necessary. Generally, you're trying to demonstrate your curiosity and desire to learn.
2. Prepare an elevator pitch. Get ready to give a 30-second explainer of who you are and where you were before, as many new colleagues will likely ask about your previous place of employment.
3. Show up early. Get there at least 15 minutes early.
4. Figure out the social landscape. Two of the more important factors in succeeding at a job are to not only get along with your co-workers, but also to associate with the right ones. It’s also essential that you begin to determine the office politics on day one.
5. Relax. While you're being strategic, also remember to relax on your first day so that you can optimize your productivity. Make sure you're well rested, prepared, and have every reason to be on time.
6. Smile. It may have taken awhile to reach this point, after searching, interviewing, and landing the job, so don't forget to be happy and enjoy the moment.
7. Look and play the part. 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.
8. Don't be shy. Make a point to reach out and introduce yourself to others.
9. Don't try too hard. The urge to impress can take you off-track, so remember that you're already hired — you don't have to wow your new colleagues.
10. Don't turn down lunch. If you're offered to go have lunch with your new boss and co-workers, go. It's important to show that you're ready to mingle with your new team — so save the packed lunch for another day.
11. Listen and observe. The best thing anyone can do in the first few days of a new job is listen. It's not time to have a strong opinion. Be friendly; meet people, smile, and listen.
12. Project high energy. You will be observed more in your early days from an external standpoint. Your attitude and work ethic are most visible now, as no one has had a chance to evaluate your work skills just yet.
13. Learn the professional rules. On your first day, your employer will have a description of your responsibilities — either written or verbal.
14. Put your cell phone on silent. You need to be 100% present at work, especially on the first day.
15. Show interest. You'll likely be introduced to many people, and while they may make the first attempt to learn a little about you, make an effort to find out about them. It's not just flattering, it will help you do your job better, Taylor says.
16. Pay attention to your body language. Your body language makes up the majority of your communication in the workplace. Assess what you're communicating to better understand how others may perceive you, and make any necessary adjustments.
17. Be yourself. Think of ways to be relaxed and project yourself as who you are.
The last thing to remember is that while the first day at a new job is very important, you shouldn't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't go flawlessly. You might look back on your performance on day one and second-guess yourself. Yes, you should prepare and try to do your best, but remember that if you try to accomplish too much, you may get overwhelmed. Know that there's always tomorrow."
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