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6 things successful people do on their first day at work

Published on 4th July 2016

Whether you’re a new graduate or the CEO, starting a new job can be daunting even for the most confident person. As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ and your first day on the job can potentially have a huge bearing on how you are perceived by your colleagues from then on. 

But there’s no need to panic! Here are 6 things you can do to maximise your chances of making a positive first impression: 

1. Plan and prepare for your first day

Simple steps such as checking your new journey to work or planning your outfit the night before can greatly benefit the flow of your morning. 

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and set your alarm early enough to give you the time to have a good breakfast to ensure you feel energised! This will help you avoid having to rush which could make you late or affect your mood. 

2. Don’t be on time, arrive early (but not too early!)

As you would for any interview, aim to arrive at the company at least 20 minutes early so that you don’t get caught out by any traffic or transport issues you may encounter. 

However you don’t want to appear too keen and eager (and you want to respect the schedule of the person in charge of showing you around) so take a walk around the block or grab a coffee and then enter the building around 10 minutes before your scheduled time. 

3. Engage with your new colleagues

Everyone has a story so make an effort to get to know your new co-workers. Find out how long they have been working at the company, what are their hobbies and interests, what do they enjoy about their job? 

Taking an interest in your colleagues will help you build new connections and find out interesting things about the people around you. There might even be a football or netball team you can join (or support from the side-lines) which will help you get to know even more people in the business. 

4. Ask lots of questions

Don’t be shy, now is the best time to ask questions about the job! In addition to showing real interest in your new role and company, asking questions can help your learning curve. It’s far better to ask ‘stupid’ questions early on than six months into the role. 

Also, asking questions can demonstrate your understanding of your role and the expectations of the position.  

5. Write things down

The first week of a role can be overwhelming and you will be bombarded with information. What was the name of the person that spent an hour training you on how to use the CRM system? Note it down as soon as they tell you as you will forget things. 

Often training will go through platforms and processes you aren’t yet familiar with so having everything noted down means you can refer back to it and won’t have to ask your colleagues to repeat themselves. 

6. Reflect

You may not have a great deal of actual work to do on your first day, however it is likely you will have had lots of information to take in. 

The end of the day is the best time to review everything you have learnt while it is still fresh in your mind, review your notes and plan the next day. Be sure to write down any questions on things you want to follow up on or find out about. 

Congratulations! You’ve officially survived (and thrived!) on your first day of work. Head home or grab a drink with your new co-workers.