You aced your interview and secured a position for your dream job! So what do you need to do to make sure you start on the right foot? There are some sure-fire ways to impress your new boss, start essential work connections, and settle into your new office without a hitch.
From professional corporate shirts to navigating introductions with your new co-workers, read on to prepare yourself for your future career.
Prepare What You Can the Night Before
Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today? Here are some essential tasks you can do before you make sure to get an early night’s rest:
- Lay out your clothes or at least select what you will wear on your first day.
- If you plan on taking a packed lunch, prepare it the evening before. Prevent being rushed and more stressed than necessary.
- Plan your route. Use an app to check how long it takes to get to your office, then add extra time to account for delays such as traffic or getting lost.
- Arrive earlier than you need to. On-time is acceptable but being early is much more practical. You’ll have some time to navigate your new work space, make a cup of coffee, and settle into your first day.
Dress For the Job You Have
Most employers aren’t too strict on what type of clothes you wear, as long as you conform to their corporate culture. As a general rule, the following are clothes to steer clear of:
- Gym clothes and comfortable home wear will never set the tone for an office workspace.
- Anything torn or worn out does not create a professional appearance.
- Showing too much skin is also not a good idea.
Instead, aim for comfortable and just a little bit conservative. Don’t worry about being a little overdressed on your first day. Once you’ve met other colleagues you can tailor your office attire by following their lead. There are tons of business wardrobe styles that are a far cry from the office attire of old.
Put Your Smartphone Away
If you know you scroll through social media frequently, then make extra sure you’ve put your phone on silent and securely in a drawer or bag.
Looking sharp and productive while learning your new job is important in those first few weeks. If you need to take an important call excuse yourself and take your phone outside.
Keep the scrolling for when you are at home and you’ll have more opportunities to connect with your coworkers while at the office.
Ask Questions and Smile
You will no doubt have a mountain of new information to absorb. It’s part of the process of onboarding. A good tip is to keep your notebook handy and ask meaningful questions.
If you need something clarified or broken down for you to understand in full, don’t be afraid to speak up. Asking good questions shows interest and willingness to learn.
Smile and make eye contact when you meet and greet people around you. This helps give the impression that you’re paying attention, you’re confident, and friendly.
If you find being the ‘new person’ at work nerve wrecking, just remember that it won’t be for long. Everyone is the new person at some point.
Introduce yourself during your first days and soon you will have a network of people around you and it won’t feel like you’re outside the circle anymore. There are plenty of places to introduce yourself too:
- In the elevator
- Before and after meetings
- Take any team gathering as an opportunity to develop your professional relationships
Be Friendly, But Stay Professional
Similar to your choice of clothing remember there’s a time and place for everything. You wouldn’t wear your nightgown to work so too, try to steer clear of topics that aren’t work-friendly. If your office is quite relaxed it can be difficult to know just where the line is between friendly banter and too much chatter. Some people prefer to keep work and home life separate. But take your cues from people on an individual basis. If Cathy from accounting loves talking about her grandkids then it’s a safe bet you can share some more personal details.
Don’t Bad Mouth
It goes without saying that speaking ill of people won’t win you any awards or respect around the office.
So don’t entertain gossip at the water fountain and avoid office drama as much as you can. Likewise, don’t speak negatively about your ex-employer. Rather, bring your confidence and an inspiring personality to your workplace every day.
The first day of any new job can be harrowing. But with a little forethought and a winning attitude, it needn’t be so stressful. Enjoy your new career path and all the opportunities that are coming your way.