Job hunting is never easy. Applications, phone calls, resume/cover letter writing, aptitude tests, multiple interviews — oh my. Your blood pressure probably increased just from reading about it. But once you’ve run the gauntlet, conquered the competition and landed the job, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. It was all worth the stress and time. But don’t forget: getting the offer is just the first step. You actually have a job to do now. You’ve already proven your qualifications to management, but you need to make a great first impression in practice both to your boss(es) and coworkers. Here are some easy and effective ways to make the best first impression during your first day on the job.
Wake Up and Show Up Early
They say the early bird gets the worm, so assert yourself at the top of the pecking order by getting to work early. Showing up on time is quite literally the first thing you can do successfully — or unsuccessfully. Arriving early shows initiative and that you take the job seriously. Tardiness can be seen as laziness and unpreparedness to many employers; and you don’t need anything working against you before you even begin to work.
Go to bed early the night before, wake up early, and leave earlier than you think you should. You’ll probably have an idea of how long your commute is, from the in-person interviews, but unexpected obstacles do to happen — anticipate them as best as possible.
Show Curiosity and Enthusiasm
Exhibiting positivity and enthusiasm for your new job is crucial on the first day. As a preface: there will undoubtedly be a LOT of new information to remember — names, procedures, administrative work, etc. Don’t be afraid to take notes on anything and everything that happens on your first day. Be engaged and mindful. (And try extra hard to remember the names of those you’ll work closest with.) Nobody will expect you to remember every last detail on the first day — much of it will come naturally through time and experience. But showing excitement and asking poignant questions shows that you’re ready to give it your all. People won’t mind reiterating information to someone who genuinely cares. Showing surliness, apathy or anti-social behavior will breed resentment among your coworkers and superiors and people may not be as eager to help out when needed.
Assimilate With the Staff
First days are almost always uncomfortable. It’s easy to be stressed and shy, but when you begin a new job, a great way to make good first impressions is through positive social interaction with your coworkers. It may require you to leave your comfort zone, but taking the initiative to get to know the team will show your bosses that they’ve chosen correctly by hiring you. Getting to know and getting along with your new coworkers shows that you can smoothly transition into the company culture and that you’ll (hopefully) remain a valuable asset and a positive force to the team. One of the best ways to do this is to ask coworkers to go out to lunch. If you can help it, don’t bother packing a lunch that day — instead, invite your team to break bread. This is prime
get-to-know-you time that will teach you about those around you and will give you ample opportunity to show your fun side.
All of these will land you in a positive light during your first day on the job. All in all, just be relaxed, have fun whenever possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know people (nothing too personal, of course). Ultimately, being friendly, approachable and competent will go a long way in the future.