To make sure that your lasting impression is definitely for the better, follow these five simple tips to getting things off to the best start:
Get there on time
The first rule of any first day at work is to get there on time – in fact, get there early! Nothing will have an employer second guessing themselves more than you failing to make your first day at the exact time you’ve been provided. If you’re unsure what time you’re supposed to be meeting, take the time to ring up and confirm a few days before. And make sure you set your alarm clock with at least half an hour to spare, so you really won’t have an excuse.
Overdress (a little)
When it comes to the company dress code, err on the cautious side. It’s always better to be looking a bit too smart, than a bit too shabby! If you’ve been told to dress casual, opt for a casual shirt and smart-casual trousers as opposed to a tee and shorts. If you’ve been told to dress smart, opt for full suit attire – you can always remove your tie and jacket during the day if suitable.
Good manners should never be underestimated. New colleagues will be wary of you on your first few weeks in the office, you need to build their trust and demonstrate your personality – which you’ll have time to do as you settle in. To begin with just make an extra effort to be courteous to everyone around you; be on your best behavior. It’s best not to use sarcasm and controversial topics of conversation, and swearing should also be a big no-no.
One of the worst things you can do on your first day is bumble along not having a clue what’s going on! Show that you are confident enough to ask for guidance when you’re unsure and that you have an inquiry mind when you feel that something has been left uncovered. That said, don’t ask questions just for the sake of it. If you ask questions about things you actually already understand, you’ll come across as a slow learner or that you haven’t been listening to earlier discussion.
Don’t let nerves get the better of you; meeting new people can be daunting but it’s essential that you come across as personable on your first interaction with them. Present yourself as well-rounded and willing to listen to everyone. When introducing yourself for the first time, a smile can go a long way and so can that first firm handshake, because some people will be judging you on that alone!