Your first day on the job could be one of the most memorable — and possibly stressful — of your life.
According to Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” many of us remember our first days at every job because there was a lot more pressure to impress. However, you can alleviate your nervousness by arranging your first day with the same meticulousness with which you secure your new job.”
According to David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach, and author, it’s simple, even tempting to go along with the “human resources tour” that usually starts on the first day of work. He adds there will be forms to fill out, movies to watch, and people to meet, but “no real position-specific tasks”. “However, it would be a mistake to respond passively rather than proactively. The first day sets the tone for the remainder of your career.” Whether it’s your first or fifth, those first few days on the job can be nerve-wracking. However, by following these essential guidelines, you may quickly adjust to your new surroundings, get up to speed, and establish positive relationships with your new boss and coworker.
Tips for your first week on the job:
Introduce yourself relentlessly
According to studies, part of our fear in new settings stems from a lack of confidence in our ability to present ourselves. It’s a very normal sensation. You don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself when you’re just starting. However, you want to show your enthusiasm in the early days of a new job. So, when the time is perfect, deliver a quick, energetic introduction to someone you haven’t met yet.
If meeting new people is a priority for you, you can enlist the assistance of others. Request from your manager a list of persons you should get to know and clarify that introducing yourself is a significant priority for you.
In meetings, you could request that the organizer allow you to introduce yourself at the beginning or finish.
Here are some suggestions for making your introductions more comfortable.
- Prepare your opening lines ahead of time so you can read from a script when you meet a new person.
- Pay attention to what’s happening around you and who’s around you. Don’t interrupt a meeting to introduce yourself, and don’t talk too loudly in public areas. Take note of how the other person reacts as you present yourself. Keep it short if they appear to be distracted. If they seem receptive, you may wish to learn more about them. Making someone else feel heard might help you make an excellent first impression.
- Make an effort to recall names. You can accomplish this by repeating the person’s name and making a quick note of them before leaving. But don’t be concerned about knowing everyone’s name. If you forget someone’s name, the best policy is, to be honest. “Please accept my apologies. Over the last few days, I’ve been soaking up a lot of new information. Could you please tell me your name?”
Be like a Sponge
One of the most crucial tasks you’ll have during your first week is to absorb everything. Knowing your company’s culture, teammates’ working and communication habits, problem projects, office politics, and department or company-wide goals can allow you to begin your real work sooner (and be more effective when you do).
So, even if you don’t understand what’s going on or it doesn’t directly affect your job, go to new hire orientation, sign up for professional development seminars, and attend as many teams and office meetings as possible. Participate in informal events as well. Say yes if you’re invited to lunch, happy hour, or the office softball league (as a participant or spectator).
Don’t overcommit yourself
However, keep an eye on your calendar to ensure that you have enough time to learn the ropes from your desk. The last thing you want to do is appear overworked, overwhelmed, or late for an appointment because you’re delayed somewhere else.
Find a buddy
Some companies have a policy of assigning an onboarding buddy or mentor to each new hire. Even if you aren’t so fortunate, you can find one independently. This is another area where your LinkedIn research will be helpful. It will assist you in identifying possible work friends and their areas of interest so that you can strike up a chat.
Are you concerned about not having somebody to eat lunch with? Rather than waiting for an invitation, make the first move and invite someone to lunch. Being pleasant to your coworkers from the start is beneficial. “On the first day, you don’t have to gregariously go over to everyone’s desk, hug, and shake their hand,” Paul French, managing director of Intrinsic Executive Search. He suggests making an effort to get to know your coworkers and offering to treat them to lunch.
Demonstrate that you’re enthusiastic about joining the team and looking forward to developing good working relationships with everyone. If you’re working on a remote team, you can even set up virtual coffee talks with your new peers to get some one-on-one time with them. This will go a long way toward establishing trust.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions as you learn about new procedures, initiatives, and individuals. People will want you to get up to speed as soon as possible as a new team member. Take thorough notes on everything you learn, no matter how small it may appear. Your mind will be cluttered this week, and writing everything down will prevent you from asking the same question twice.
- Consider what you wish to learn. In some circumstances, permission may be required, while guidance or validation may be necessary for others. You’ll be able to ask more precise questions and waste less time if you’re specific.
- Make a list of the information you require in the order of importance. If you can’t get your computer or access badge to operate, you’ll need assistance right away. If you’re unsure about your team’s quarterly goals, you may usually wait to discuss them with your boss in the coming weeks.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
At the same time, don’t be hesitant to pitch in and provide value—you want to show that you’re the best candidate for the job! You won’t know everything (and you shouldn’t pretend to! ), but you can ask suggestions or ask questions like “Has this been tried before?” in team meetings or brainstorming sessions. And, if you’ve been hired to offer a talent or aptitude to the team, speak up and share your knowledge. However, keep in mind who you’re speaking to. You don’t want to come on too strong or tread on anyone’s toes.
Offer the help
During your first few days on the job, your employer and team may experience some downtime as they acclimatize to your presence. Volunteer to assist your new teammates on a project instead of waiting for others to figure out tasks for you. You’ll take the initiative, develop relationships with your supervisor and coworkers, and gain knowledge of expectations, procedures, and how things are done.
Keep your boss informed
Request regular meetings with your supervisor throughout the week (rather than popping into her office with every query!). It would be best to utilize this time to update on what you’re learning and who you’re meeting with and gain their direction on projects and assignments. Ask yourself questions like, “Are there any extra tasks or skills I should be learning?” “Can you offer me input on the project I just finished?” and “Can you give me feedback on the project I just finished?” to take the initiative and listen a lot. At this point, your boss’s criticism and insight will be one of your most valuable resources—after all, you’ll be spending the next few weeks, months, and maybe years working for her.
It takes a team effort to onboard a new team member. Getting set up with your workplace technology or signing in to various programs you’ll be utilizing will most likely require support from other departments or coworkers during your first week. First impressions are essential, so make sure your first contacts with your new coworkers — especially those assisting you in settling — are admirable.
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