Congratulations. You found a new job. The hard part is over.
Now, it’s time to prepare yourself for your first week at a new place! Scary right..? Trying to make a great impression on co-workers, your new boss and your clients!
So how can you make sure that happens? Let’s take a look.
1. Practice your introduction.
What’s the one thing you’re going to have to do over and over and over again during your first week of work? Introduce yourself. (I know; it can get quite irritating!)
So, if I were you, to save yourself from a lot of ‘erms’ and ‘umming’ I’d get yourself prepared…
Be ready to answer:
- Are you new? (Duh).
- So what will you be doing with us?
- Are you going to be working with Bob?
- Where did you work before?
- Where do you live?
- Do you drive into work?
And keep that smile on your face! Yes, it might be frustrating having to answer the same questions, but your co-workers are simply trying to break the ice and open up conversation so they can get to know you better!
2. Get some rest.
You’re not you when you’re exhausted!
I can’t state how important it is for you to feel fresh and energetic during your first week of work.
So, where possible, try to have a couple of days rest and a couple of good nights’ sleep, before you start. (So for example, if you start on a Monday, don’t party all weekend!)
Struggling to sleep? Check out these tips on how to relax, when you’re stressed.
3. Start your first day right!
Just not a morning person?
You really want to start that first day firing on all cylinders, so here are some helpful tips on how to wake yourself up quicker (without coffee. Although coffee does help)!
- Do some exercise! Exercising in the morning will increase energy levels and enhance mood for the day – because it boosts oxygen to the brain and the body.
- Do some brain exercise! Warm up your brain too by reading a book, completing a puzzle or checking your emails – proven to increase your alertness.
- Eat some breakfast! Come on; by now you KNOW that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Get something down you.
Do NOT snooze your alarm 101 times and then rush out of the door in a mad panic. You need to be calm, confident and mentally prepared to take on tough day’s work.
For more tips on how to wake up quicker, without coffee, click here.
You have just a few seconds to make an impression on your peers – so don’t make a crap one.
No matter how nervous you might get, it’s absolutely essential that you keep that smile on your face, for three reasons:
- It will help people to warm to you.
- It will make you appear more confident.
- It will actually help you psychologically remain happier!*
*Yes, smiling actually helps to psychologically trick yourself into genuinely becoming happier!
Come on think about it, what do you want people saying: “who’s that friendly person we just hired” or “who’s that grumpy bugger who never smiles?”
5. (Try to) memorise names.
Ok, you don’t have to memorise everyone’s name on your first day (or even during your first week). In fact, most people will understand; it’s a lot to take in.
But it would be pretty impressive if you did.
It will immediately strengthen the bond between yourself and colleagues and people would naturally feel warmer towards you.
Recruiter Pro Tip
If you are crap with names (like me) then you must at least try to remember the names of the people who interviewed you and your managers.
It just looks lazy and indifferent if you don’t and that won’t go down well.
NB: calling people “pal” and “mate” isn’t going to fool anyone.
6. Be proactive.
Have you ever felt like a complete burden on your first day?
Not really having a clue what to do when you’ve finished a task and having to keep asking your boss “so what next?” can make you feel a little bit helpless. But that’s normal!
Just do it!
I guarantee that your new manager is going to be a lot more annoyed if you’ve sat around doing nothing for an hour, than if you’ve taken initiative, spoken up and asked for more work.
It’s their fault if you’re not getting given enough to do in the first place!
7. Ask for help.
Yes, you read that right.
Just as you should inform your boss when you need more work, you should also go to them (or a relevant colleague) when you need help.
From simple things like logging into your computer to complex technical issues; asking is always better than ignoring the problem and wasting time.
And your new boss will expect it.
Monster have even written an article on how to ask for help at your new job!
8. Make friends.
Within a few hours of being in the office, you’ll probably have worked out who you want to be friends with (and who you really don’t).
Align yourselves with people like yourself, but do be careful you don’t ostracise anyone. That might come back to bite you on the bum.
Recruiter Pro Tip.
Make friends, but try not to…
- Keep things professional, until you know people better.
- Get involved in gossip. Even if it seems harmless.
- Cause any drama. This goes without saying.
You don’t want to p*ss off half the team before you’ve even started and you don’t want to come across weird.
9. Don’t be a “try-hard.”
Don’t overdo it!
You don’t want to look too desperate to make new friends.
If you get the feeling that someone doesn’t want to talk to you, move on and act cool!
10. Work out the rules.
Your contract will outline all of the more important rules about what you can and cannot do at your workplace, from working hours and holidays to social media and clothing.
But there are also a lot of unwritten rules that you’ll have to look out for like ‘don’t eat hot food at the desk,’ ‘don’t throw food waste into the paper bins’ and ‘don’t put the air conditioning on without asking Jane (who sits beneath it!).’
Be on your guard during your first day (and first week) to suss out the dos and don’ts and try not to step on any toes.
Here are some examples of unwritten office rules, you should definitely stick to.
They’re funny but they’re true.
11. Be prepared to stay late!
How often does anyone really work a nine till five these days? (Not very).
It is actually quite important that you don’t just go running out of the door at bang on 5pm, unless of course everyone else does so.
You and your team are “all in this together” so it’s a sign of loyalty and commitment if you stick around when others have to.
For now at least, you need to prove that you’re willing to go the extra mile! (In the future, you can set your boundaries.)
If you run out of things to do, then again, be proactive and ask your boss – he’ll no doubt send you on your way.
Now there are a couple of things I have missed out on this list. But I’ve missed them out because they’re downright obvious and I’m sure you’ve heard them before…
- Dress to impress. (A suit is best, unless told otherwise).
- Turn up on time. (No in fact, show up early).
- Don’t be a know-it-all. (Stepping on other people’s toes is NOT the way to go).
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Good luck.- Charles Trivett