Starting a new job brings back the good old memories of your first day in school, college, or university. Depending how good your memory is, you may not remember as far back as the early learning years.
Regardless what you remember though, you’ll know the anxiety to expect when it comes to meeting new people. It’s nerve wracking because you don’t know if your new colleagues are going to like you, and likewise, if you’ll get on with them. That aside though, you have to push past the point of anxiety, because nerves will get you nowhere.
You raised your confidence bar high enough to ace the interview, so now it’s time to spring into action and set yourself up to ace the first day on the job. The first day on any job, first or not, is the most fundamental day that will mark the beginning of a new chapter in your life, with the relationships you develop on that first day.
To first help you lower your anxiety for the upcoming big day, just think of it this way… Your co-workers aren’t going to be judging your work. You’re the new start, and won’t have much to do besides learning about your role, and the names of those you’ll be working with.
The only things that you’ll be judged on are your personal characteristics. Your interviewer noticed some star quality in you, which is why you were hired into the job in the first place. Now you have the job, the initiation period begins, and the following will help you to push past that anxiety barrier.
This is essential for those entering their very first job, straight out of education. During your studies, you can do as you please, pretty much, because you’re only responsible for you. You call in sick, leave early for appointments, or turn up late, because you fancied a long lie, it’s only yourself you’re letting down.
When you go into the workplace though, the pressure is on. Colleagues are reliant on their co-workers being punctual.
A workplace only functions when all the staff pull their weight. It’s the only way for a business to stay in business.
When everyone supports each other, works together, and gets the work done that needs doing, and in a timely way that meets the deadlines needed to meet the company demands. That’s what keeps the business ticking and people in employment.
When a new member of staff comes into the company, punctuality is the first thing that can show your enthusiasm for the job you’re going to be doing.
Be as early as can, but within reason. An hour and a half early is a bit too eager. A
half hour before you’re due to start though, gives you plenty of time to have a cup of coffee in the canteen, and mingle with your new co-workers. It gets the pleasantries out the way, before the work or training begins.
Get the formalities out the way when you’re not on paid company time. That first half hour before you’re due to start work is the most important 30 minutes of your entire time within the organisation that hired you. Set your career off to the best start by preparing to meet the people who are going to help you succeed in your new job. Do that by turning up early.
If there’s anything that’s going to put people off being around you, it’s standing out too much.
People tend to befriend those who they can see a part of themselves in. Fortunately, most workplaces have a dress code. Some may be formal, others casual, and others in uniform. Regardless what that dress code is, be sure you know what you’re going to wear, and also make sure it’s clean and freshly pressed.
No wrinkled shirts, double creases in trousers, or flamboyant colors that don’t match the tone of your surroundings. Stand out, but don’t do it with a fashion statement. Showcase yourself to be smart and professional as soon as you enter the workplace.
Going in with a brightly colored sparkling top, and glittery shoes are going to be screaming drama queen, and that’s not the impression you want to give your co-workers. They want to go into work, do what needs doing, and leave without any dramas.
Sure, a bit of humour in the work place is fundamental to get through the day, but make sure you’re laughing with your colleagues and not being laughed at. Your dress code can make or break that first introduction to the people you’ll be working with.
Confidence and charisma are great traits to have, but they’ll only get you so far. In any company, there’s a hierarchy. It’s not obvious to the eye, so you’ll have to play a part detective role, on your first day on the job. You’re the new employee, but don’t let that be your downfall.
There will be juniors looking to climb the hierarchy, and that’s when you need to be careful on treading on someone’s toes. Juniors, clerks and even the mail person could one day be your boss.
Don’t dismiss anyone but always learn what their position is within the organisation. Senior staff are greeted with Mr. or Mrs, unless you’re otherwise instructed to drop the formalities. You get to know the hierarchy of a business structure during that first introduction in the staff canteen.
The first person you speak to will introduce you, or point (not literally) out who each person is.
That’s Joe, he’s the team leader of the marketing division. To his left, that’s Mrs Arco, the head of sales and marketing. They’re probably discussing deadlines for the day. At the table behind them are part of Joes marketing team, although it looks like Sharon’s running late today. She’s one of the best agents Joe has and will probably be doing his job soon, as he’s applied for a promotion beside Mrs Arco.
That sort of conversation is a good starting point on your first day, so pay close attention to who is who. The way you’re presented with names, tells you a lot about people. Joe in that example is career motivated.
He’s already a team leader, who’s in with the head of sales and marketing, waiting in line for a promotion. The head of marketing is addressed by her “Mrs” title, so you know how to greet Mrs Arco. With the utmost respect as this stands out as someone influential in the business, making career changes happen for Joe.
A part of the example conversation mentions a marketing agent who’s not even arrived yet. That’s also someone you won’t want to be treading on, as you’ll have heard she’s in line to be promoted to team leader.
As your communication continues at the beginning of your first day, you won’t be long in finding out what the hierarchy is. Understanding the infrastructure of personnel will go a long way in ensuring you don’t tick anyone off by making the wrong remark, greeting or anything that will start you off on the wrong foot. That’s why your first impression of being punctual, helps you to meet and communicate with others already there.
You get to learn the who’s who through discussion and not through error. On the topic of etiquette, cell phones should be turned off on your first day. Your priorities are with communicating with your new colleagues. Not to be answering friends and family when they’re calling up, to grant you all the best of luck in the world on your first day.
Cell phones are generally allowed in the workplace, as they’re becoming part of the norm and often important for internal communication too. But as you’re a new start, you won’t need your phone.
If you do require it, then your up line will let you know. Until then, keep it out of sight, turned off, or on silent. Use those three tips above to get you through your first day on the job successfully, ready to champion your way in your new job.
The first step is overcoming the nerve barrier and that’s best done through communication, being punctual, and above all…Listening!
Listen to what your co-workers say, how they say things, and pay attention to their body language when they’re speaking. You’re first day on the new job is essentially the time you’ll be require excellent observational skills to get a full understanding of the new company and co-workers you’re now a part of.