Starting a new job is just like the first day of school: you’re worried about what you’re wearing and whether you’ll make friends. Rest assured, that’s normal. (And no, that cardigan does not make you look fat). To help you ease these first-day jitters and start your career with a bang, we’ve rounded up the best advice for your first week on the job.
1. Don’t. Be. Late.
This piece of advice may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s the key to success. As Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” It’s simple: coming to work on time shows your boss that you’re still the same responsible and enthusiastic person from the interview.
2. Dress to impress
You were hired, now it’s time to look the part. It’s always better to overdress a bit in the beginning, but you should also keep in mind the company culture – nothing screams ‘newbie’ like wearing a sharp and freshly ironed black suit on the first day at a hip start-up. One way to fit in is to just ask your supervisor about the dress code. (Duh!)
3. Listen, listen, listen
You heard that? During your first week, you’ll be getting lots of new facts, so you should spend most of your time listening and digesting all of these new tidbits of information – like, where the coffee machine and the bathrooms are. Also, make sure you follow up with any questions you may have, which brings us to point 4.
4. Ask, ask, ask
Is there anything you’re confused or just curious about? This is the time to ask questions. Consider the first weeks your ‘grace period’ – your coworkers and boss will be very open to inquiries, so fire away! Plus, there’s nothing worse than having to admit, three months too late, that you haven’t understood some complicated process that sounded so simple at the time. Asking questions will also show your enthusiasm and interest in the job, which is always a good thing.
5. Know your trade to get results
Do you know exactly what is expected of you? If you don’t, then this is what the first week is for. Sit down with your boss, go over your job description, and hash out everything that’s unclear. You’ll find that it’ll make your work a lot easier, and your boss will be impressed with your proactive attitude.
6. Figure out your neighborhood
Part of settling in is to get to know your surroundings. Where’s the best place to get the most lunch bang for your buck? Where is the pharmacy and where do all the cool people get their morning coffee or afternoon pick-me-ups? Knowing these logistical things will make your workdays so much more pleasant.
7. Leave your personal life at home
We’ve all been there: that nagging Whatsapp icon on your phone begs you to respond, and you’re dying to tell your friends about your new job. However tempting it may be, hold off until your break to pick up your phone. It’s crucial to make a good impression in your first week, and you’ll want to restrain from using your phone to take care of personal emails, Buzzfeed quizzes, and Facebook updates.
8. Say “Hi, nice to meet you!” loudly and proudly
You may feel shy the first few days, and that’s normal – the sight of hundreds of new faces can scare even the most lively extrovert into a quiet wallflower. But it’s important to try to overcome this shyness and introduce yourself to everyone. You will come across as confident and cheerful, and it’ll help you get started on the right foot. Also, do your best to remember your new coworkers’ names, because there’s nothing worse than having to avoid eye contact with someone for five months because you forgot their name. (True story. Sorry, Dave from accounting.)