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What to do on the first day of your new job

You’re jumping for joy. You have a new job, but are stressed about ‘Day 1’.

face2face recruitment experts say it’s as important to prepare for your first day as it was to prepare for the interview that landed you the job. ‘Don’t just waltz in the front door without thinking through how to present yourself,’ says Lauren Ferrett, Account Manager, Business Support (and f2f Employee of the Year).

Here are Lauren’s other tips for smashing it on Day 1.

Be alert

You’d be crazy to start tired (or hung over!). Get plenty of sleep so you’re alert and ready to make a great, first impression. This will help you show high and positive energy.

Don’t be late

Arrive at your place of work early (you don’t need to enter the office until you’re expected to do so, however, since everyone might not be prepared). Map out your route to the office in advance and make sure you know how long the commute is (even practice). Account for rush hour traffic and public transport delays.

Dress the part

You’ll know the dress code of your new workplace, having seen how interviewers were dressed at your interview and having researched the organisation online. Don’t look out of place. It’s better to overdress than undress.  Be neat. Be clean. Be tidy.

Breathe to relax, and smile

You might have a bad case of the nerves on the inside, but you don’t want this to show on the outside. Breathe from the stomach and just enjoy your first day. Smile, smile, smile. Shake hands confidently (check out this video on good and bad handshakes). Say hello to people.

Don’t try too hard to impress. You’re already hired so you don’t need to sell yourself. Just fit in as comfortably as you can and be yourself.

Turn your mobile off

You won’t make a first great impression if your phone keeps ringing or if you keep watching your phone for calls or messages. You need to be 100% ‘on the job’ your first day. Also avoid texting your little heart out. It’s not a good look and will send the message that you’re not as interested in your new job as you are with your phone.

Have a notepad and pen with you

On your first day you may be bombarded with information and it might be hard to remember it all. Take notes so you can refer to information later. This also leaves a positive first impression that you’re ready and serious about doing a good job. While most employers will have your desk ready with stationery, some may not so it’s best to bring your own notepad and pen.

Behave appropriately and take cues from your employer

Today is not the day to wander around, coffee mug in hand, chit chatting with colleagues. Take a more conservative approach and let your employer steer you on what’s needed.

Listen and observe

You’ll have a lot of people talking to you on your first day, so concentrate and listen. You may want to ask heaps of questions, but this can be disruptive. A few questions are OK, but this is really your time to listen, observe and take notes.

Prepare an elevator pitch

You’ll meet many people so be ready to describe yourself in a few words to those who ask. Elevator pitches make this easy. You may have prepared one for your interview which you can use. If not, here are our tips for memorable elevator pitches.

Be ready for paperwork

You’ll have to start filling in forms and paperwork on your first day. Boring, but necessary. If you were sent these electronically beforehand, complete them before you arrive at the office. You don’t want to be tardy with your first task.

Don’t let induction overwhelm you

Many employers have well thought-through induction processes and will be ready for new starters. Don’t be overwhelmed by induction. You can always re-review material.

Learn where things are

Most employers will assign you a  ‘buddy’ to give you a tour. If not, don’t wander aimlessly. If you can’t figure out where your boss sits, or where amenities are, gently ask those around you.

Be patient

Not all employers are 100% organised with onboarding, so be patient. Don’t criticize or be a pain by voicing any displeasure.

Be cautious with the comments you make

This is not the day to start injecting your opinions on everything or making hard decisions about issues you don’t know in-depth. Just absorb information.

Never turn down a lunch offer

If your boss or a co-worker offers to take you to lunch, graciously accept, even if you’re packed your own lunch. This will show your willingness to be collegiate.

Say thanks

Don’t go over the top or get gushy, but do thank your new boss for selecting you. Also, thank everyone who helps you throughout your first day, such as direct work colleagues or personnel in Human Resources.

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