First Day in a New Job? 5 Tips for Creating a Good Impression!

What to do when starting a new job, and how preparation can help you handle first day nerves.

The first day at the new job normally means excitement mixed with nerves. You might like to compare it to travelling alone to a new foreign country for the first time – you’ll be learning and seeing lots of new things, but you’re going to have to navigate your way around and communicate in a language you’re unfamiliar with when you’re starting a new job.

Every job is different. Some companies will go out of their way to make the onboarding process positive, exciting and useful, while other businesses might be more stand-offish and leave you to your own devices. Whatever the situation though, the first day is where your new colleagues will see and speak with you for the first time, developing an initial impression of you that will follow you in this job role.

Here are five tips to make sure you don’t start off on the wrong foot, and which should relieve some of those first day jitters, as well as answer the question – how can I make good first impression at work?

Be prepared

Just like your job interview, the impression you give and the impact you make on your first day can depend very much on how much preparation you’ve done. So do some homework! Make sure you’re taken time to understand the job responsibilities (as far as you’ve been told), research the company again, and potentially understand as much as you can about the company culture. If it’s possible, it might be good to have taken a bit of time off before your new role to get yourself mentally and physically ready.

Preparation will help you start smoothly on your first day at work, but it also means you’ll be up for the challenge of your first three or six months. Remember, you’ll be on a probationary period, in which you’re observed carefully to ensure you’re meeting the standards required.

Make sure you bring everything the job asks for – this could be documents such as your passport, P45 and national insurance details. It’s also handy to bring a folder to keep paper you’re given, which might involve a contract. Finally, make sure you get a good night’s sleep – it’ll keep you awake and focused for what you need to do on your first day.

Be punctual and presentable (first impressions)

Just like your job interview, it’s wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to what you wear, unless you’re 100% sure about what’s suitable. Once you spend a few days at a new job, you’ll better understand what kind of clothes people wear, but it shouldn’t hurt to give the impression you’ve made a particular effort.

Often on the first day, you’re asked to arrive a little later to give your team time to prepare. But whatever the situation, it’s wise to leave around half an hour earlier than you would to get to work on time. This is so you can spend a bit of time adjusting to the area, and maybe have a coffee before you come to the office fresh and ready for action.

Image: Adobe Stock

Be organised and proactive

It’s unlikely that you’ll be asked to get stuck in to projects immediately (although that’s not to say it isn’t a possibility). If you do have some time to spare, spend it getting adjusted, organised and understanding your place of work – coffee machines, toilets, fire exits etc…

Work-wise, this is a fresh start, so make sure you begin as you mean to go on. This means doing some thinking around time management and making sure that you understand where you should improve and what you’ve been weak on in the past. Take lots of notes – understand how things in the office work so you don’t need to ask again so often. You might also have time to organise and prioritise any work responsibilities that are made clear to you.

Be proactive and build momentum if you can. This means asking questions, putting yourself forward for tasks and responsibilities, and getting your feet wet without finding yourself overwhelmed. Becoming a self-starter is a great way to make a good first impression – people will appreciate your help and your efforts. If you can show leadership or initiative on your first day, it’s a huge positive and a marker for the future.

Image: Adobe Stock

Introduce yourself

Your manager or a colleague may show you around and introduce you to your team, but that doesn’t always happen. Either way, it’s best to be proactive, and make a special effort to introduce yourself to as many people are feel comfortable with, with a focus on remembering names if possible – as many as you can for day two.

In some workplaces, you are asked to write an introductory email – take a bit of time to craft this. Even if you’re not asked, it’s still worth doing so people know who the new person is!

Understand the culture

Walk around and get yourself familiar with the people you’ll be spending most of your days with. For many companies, cultural fit is hugely important. Your own long-term success, as well as the company, depends on how the team works. This means you need to be part of that as soon as you can. If you feel comfortable enough on day one to make a joke or have fun, that’s a very good sign.

There’s also the possibility that you’ll be asked out to socialise in a pub or other venue. Make sure you go – it’s a good situation to see people out of work mode and to show your true personality. Obviously be careful about alcohol and getting too drunk though – you’re not in the right position and not familiar enough with your colleagues yet to be comfortable in that kind of situation. Save it for the Christmas party!

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  • Achuthan

    thank you for useful informations

  • Recruitment Solutions

    This is very useful, you can never have too much preparation for that first day!