Living through the first day at a new job
You finally got that job you have been longing for. The interviews were not easy but thankfully, you sailed through. So, you have reported on duty and as usual, day one in a new workplace is a mixture of excitement, tension and nervousness. You know no one and the culture is also not known to you.
You want to be on your best behaviour because you want to give the best impression so that you can get started on the right foot.
From remembering who does what, where the bathroom is, to how systems work, the first day at a new job can turn into an information overload. Here is how to go through the day smoothly;
- Come to work on time
First things first, a good impression starts by showing that you can really keep time. You do not want to rush into your new office sweating and apologising profusely for being late. It shows a lack of professionalism and makes you more confused than you already are.
2. Be open minded
Realise that you do not know everything even if you are experienced and be willing to learn. Take the first day to listen and understand how things work in the new environment so that you can get it right.
- Have some packed lunch or prior arrangements for lunch
Well, you do not want to be under pressure about learning all the new things while your stomach is growling. Worse still, you do not want to be told, “Can we go for lunch?” and then look at the person asking you with a blank face because you remember you actually made no plans for your lunch. So, carry some packed lunch or ensure you have some money for lunch. And when having lunch, sit with your new colleagues. This is the best way to interact with them and get to know them better.
- Find out where essential things are like water, refreshments, and the bathroom are
Most offices will have a water dispenser and a bathroom at a visible place. Some offices offer tea or coffee and snacks, which can be served or you might need to serve yourself. In other cases, you might also be required to clean your own dishes so, know how this system works, for your own comfort. Of course, you will need to use the bathroom at some point so figure out where it is.
- Don’t get tired of introducing yourself
Whether you have met everyone or not, do not get upset by the number of times you have to repeat your name and which role you will be playing in the company. Everyone is trying to know you and this is also your opportunity to know those around you. Even if someone asks you repeatedly to remind you their name, do it with grace.
- Don’t be in a hurry to make new friends
Friends make you settle in faster and more easily. However, do not trip over yourself trying to befriend every person as you come across as being ingenuine. Instead, be courteous and pleasant to everyone. Avoid sharing personal information and randomly joining office cliques as they limit your social circle at work.
- Ask questions
This is a new place and you have so much to learn. Much of your time should be spent listening but, ask questions too. This is part of the learning curve and ask anyone where applicable. It helps you learn the new environment and settle down faster.
- Do not fake it
Being yourself helps you to settle down fast as you are not acting and this means that you do not get tired. You also create basic rules of interaction with your colleagues and you can easily be consistent. Sincerity also helps you build good relationships with your colleagues.
9. Lay a good foundation on day one
Day one at a new workplace does not have to be very stressful. Channel your energy towards the right things by being on time, learning the culture, being pleasant, being honest and asking as many questions as possible. Most people will be willing to help you settle down so be open minded and work closely with those around you.
Now that you have survived day one, here is how to make a good impression within the first few months.
What are your tips for surviving the first day in a new workplace?