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How to impress on your first day
26 February 2018
Starting your new job? It’s important you know what to expect and even more so, how to impress. From the very first day be sure you’re ready to stand out as a great employee or intern and by the end of your first month, you’re sure to have made a positive impression.
The first day
Your first day on the job may feel like a bit of a blur filled with excitement, confusion, new faces and a lot of information. Know what you should wear prior to starting your role, be on time and don’t rush out the door when you finish. When you arrive, check-in with the reception to let your manager know that you are there if you haven’t received any other specific instructions. Be friendly and make an effort to remember your co-workers’ names, take notes if you need to and ask questions if you require further instruction.
Each organisation has its own level of formality when it comes to dress codes, so it’s important to know what is expected of you.
Prior to your first day, the interviewer, recruitment consultant or your direct manager should have discussed this with you. If it hasn’t been and your first day is nearing, be sure to take it upon yourself to ask the question. If for some reason you aren’t able to get a clear response, base your attire on what you observed during your interview. Was everyone wearing suits or were they dressed more casually? If you’re still unsure, opt for a smart casual look then ask your manager when you start or make the call based on how everyone else is dressed. Be careful though, sometimes offices have strict rules on what you can and can’t wear, even if it is a seemingly casual, free dress environment shorts, ripped jeans and clothing with content that may be found offensive are typically not allowed. In addition to this, some offices have dress-down days like ‘casual’ Fridays where they may dress less formally than usual.
This should be clearly outlined to you during the time your job offer is made and definitely included in your contract. You may, however, be invited in later on your first so that arrangements can be made for your desk and registration but if you aren’t, be there ready to start at your official starting time.
If you work 9am-5pm it’s best to arrive at least 10 minutes early and to head out after your finish time; don’t rush in right on nine and be packed up, halfway out the door by five.
Many offices have large receptions and require a pass to enter the main vicinity. If one isn’t issued to you prior to starting, check-in with the reception. Let them know who you are, what company you’re with and who you are meeting so they can give you further instruction or notify your manager that you have arrived.
Meet the team
It’s likely your manager will take you around to meet your team and introduce you to the people you will be working with the most. It really is true: first impressions count and you only get to make one! Be friendly and polite, you want to make a good impression. You may meet a lot of people and it might be difficult to remember who everyone is but it helps to say their name back to them when being introduced, for example, “John, nice to meet you.”
It’s important that you understand what you are being taught, so if there is anything you are unsure about, ask for clarification. While you might not remember everything it’s better to ask than attempting to wing it.
Take a notepad with you so you can make note of any questions you have asked and the answers you received. Similarly, if there are questions which arise over the course of the day write them down until you have an opportunity to ask your manager.
A notebook will also come in handy when you first start a new role to keep a record of all the passwords, tips, file paths, programmes and website links you will need to familiarise yourself with. Keep note of your personal logins and passwords, you might also want to write up a brief desk plan to keep track of the people you remember and where they sit.
So, you’re ready for your first day on the job. What might you expect during the rest of your first week? Get all the insight here 'Hit the ground running in your first week’.
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