Congratulations, you’ve passed the interview and finally got the job, but the recruitment process isn’t over yet. Think of the first day continuing your interview to erase any doubts about you as a worker and show the better side of yourself. Present yourself as a professional, friendly and cultured person and overcome your nerves by reminding yourself that you got the job because the person who hired you trusts you.
Whether you are a recent graduate, a manager, or an executive director, your first day on the job can impact the perception other staff members have of you from then on. No doubt you want to make a good impression quickly (some research concludes that you only have a tenth of a second to make a good impression!), and a successful strategy in a new job will help you achieve this.
The Waiting Game
Often there is a period of inactivity between being offered the job and starting work in the company for about two weeks. You are probably impatient, and it is understandable that, during this period, you feel like a bird with its wings tied. Try to prepare yourself for some tasks you have discussed with your recruiter back at the interview: remember accounting basics if you are starting as an accountant, practice your writing skills if you are to be an academic essay writer, or exercise if your position is sports-related.
The transition might also get easier if you approach your future boss during this period, you might even be invited to the office or for a drink with the team to get to know your future colleagues. Don’t overburden them, but perhaps ask them what you can do to prepare for your new role. In addition, try to stay in touch with your recruitment consultant if there are any changes in dates or other details.
Five steps to success
While your boss should already know what you can offer, based on the information gathered during the interview and beforehand, your first few days will have an even more significant impact on how you are perceived.
On your first day, your manager may be doing everything they can to create a welcoming and supportive environment, but there are also steps you can take to make things go smoothly – here are five of them:
1. Arrive early and dressed appropriately
If you arrive early, you will arrive on time. If you’re on time, you’ll be late. Show your eagerness to start at work by arriving half an hour to a quarter of an hour earlier. This will also help you establish yourself in the team as, being the first person in the building, you can greet colleagues one by one, rather than arriving late and introducing yourself to everyone at the same time.
Ensuring that you are wearing the correct attire is also of paramount importance. You should have already clarified with your manager what the dress code is, but if you haven’t, see if you can find out from the company website or your new colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles.
2. Remember names
Greet everyone by name and use their names when conversing to help internalize this information. If you mention their name during the conversation, you are also helping to build rapport. As awkward as it may feel to walk around the office and greet your colleagues, remember that everyone has been through the same thing at some point. One tactic that helps remember other people’s names is to repeat their names when they introduce themselves. So the colleague will say, “Hi, I’m Stacy,” and you’ll reply, “Hi Stacy, I’m Josh.” Interestingly, it has been shown that our brains can remember and recall professions more easily than names.
When you have met everyone, draw a seating plan and place their names in the respective positions. In addition, note other employees with whom you will have regular contact, such as reception staff.
3. Ask questions
Although part of their job is to support you with problems or questions, your manager will be more receptive to your needs during the first few days. Take this opportunity to ask general questions about the company as you may feel embarrassed later on.
Again, you may have covered these in the interview, but if you didn’t, now is the time to ask questions like “What is the current focus of my team?”, “What are the company’s current objectives?” or “What is the main difficulty the company is facing at the moment?” Focus on company-related issues; your colleagues can point you to the coffee machine.
4. Listen more
You should do much more listening and learning in the early stages than talking. Carry a notebook and pen with you to write down all the valuable information resources your colleagues provide. Take good quality notes to make tasks more manageable, especially those that not everyone will be able to help you with, such as running specific computer programs.
There will be a lot of vital information to learn on your first day and throughout your induction period, so you will need to be a good listener at all times.
5. Think about the big picture
Even if it’s just your first day, you should consider how everything you learn contributes to the bigger picture, including your colleagues and your relationships with them. Have your job description handy to make a mental note of the essential responsibilities and who you will need to coordinate them with.
6. Call your recruiter to share your experience
Call your recruiter and tell them what your first day was like. Talk about the people you’ve met, the projects you’ve been assigned, and how your day went. It is important to share any questions you have at this early stage when your main consultant is in a position to gather information on your behalf.
7. Give it a chance
If, after your first day, you think you may have made a mistake or that you don’t fit in with your new colleagues don’t panic. It often takes some time to integrate into a new organization, and many people have reservations at first, which they quickly overcome.
Remember that everyone has had a “first day in the office” in their lives. Nervousness about a new job is natural, as embracing change is often uncomfortable. Try your best to be positive during this preliminary period and work hard. If you are still not comfortable after six months, you should arrange an interview with your manager, who, hopefully, will be able to give you some advice on how best to proceed.
A final Thought
There is only one chance for the first impression, and for many people, it is the first impression that counts, so make sure yours has a positive and lasting effect by following the five tips above. At the same time, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You have a support network that believes in you and wants you to succeed, so feel free to talk to them if you have problems.