When it comes to experiencing anxiety and excitement, your first day at work is as taxing as the job search process that precedes it. Stepping into an unknown environment, you are likely to be a bundle of nerves on your first day. Both memorable as well as stressful, your first day at work is all about meeting your new coworkers and boss, familiarising yourself with the new work process, etc. While you are focused on making a lasting first impression, the suspense of what’s to come next can easily play on your confidence. Put your mind at ease with our ‘first-day-at-work’ survival guide.
1. Have a pitch ready
You are most likely going to be asked questions like ‘why did you leave your previous job?’, or ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’ To avoid awkwardness and being vague with your replies, it is best that you are ready with your answers prior to your first day at work.
On a similar note, here are some tips to answer other questions of this nature: 'So, Why Should We Hire You?'
2. Be observant and proactive
Joining a new workplace is sure to leave you with plenty of questions. Demonstrating a curiosity to learn is good, and you can do so by having a list of questions ready. What will also come in handy is taking initiatives and showing that you are eager to learn. Ensure that the questions you ask at your orientation meeting are more in-depth.
3. Show up early
Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early, but not earlier than that. You don’t want to come across as too eager. Leaving early for the office on your first day will help you avoid rush hours.
4. Be prepared to start work, the first day itself
That is correct. There is a high probability that your boss may assign you a task on the first day itself. Be prepared to start work from day one.
Need advice on how to start managing your work? Check this: How to Set Boundaries for Yourself at Work
5. Observe the social landscape of your office
Figuring out the social landscape is a good way of determining positional hierarchy in your organisation.
Looking to be in the good books of your manager? Read this: 4 Tips to Connect Better with Your Manager
6. Don’t forget to relax
Typically, the first day at work is mentally more stressful. Therefore, it is essential to take short breaks and relax. This is the best way to optimise your productivity. Being well rested the night before you start at your new workplace, preparing for your first day and reaching the office on time are some of the other important things to keep in mind before your first day at work.
Get some great tips for a healthy work-life balance here: 7 Tips to Ensure You Stay Healthy at Work Even Working 24/7
7. Smiling is important too
A great way to keep the first-day-at-work stress at bay is to smile and be happy. You have managed to come through a long and difficult interview process. Be sure to smile when you meet new people, shake their hands and introduce yourself. This will make it clear how happy and eager you are to be here.
8. Keep professionalism intact
While taking short breaks and relaxing is fine, don’t overdo it. Dress professionally and be as courteous as you were during your interview process. Be mindful of the fact that you don’t send out a wrong message by overdoing the jokes. The idea is to help your coworkers be as comfortable as possible when around you.
9. Pay attention to your body language
Apart from verbal communication, we send out non-verbal signals with our body language. Body language makes up for most of your communication in a professional set up. So, assess what you are projecting with your body language and how others may perceive you. Make necessary changes if required. Avoid doing the following:
10. Showcase your soft skills
While you are hired for your professional skills, having complete knowledge of soft skills is essential as well. Whether you are dealing with seniors, colleagues or clients, showing impeccable soft skills is a surefire way of impressing them all. Try and incorporate the following soft skills alongside your technical abilities:
With these tips, you are sure to survive the first day at work with ease. So, go ahead and make a great first impression.
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