The first day in a new job is famously stressful, time seems to slow down, and those pesky butterflies in your stomach can’t behave no matter how many times you’ve changed jobs in your life. Therefore to have a bit of relief, we’ve put together a short list of handy-dandy tips that surely will get you through this memorable, but an often tricky challenge of starting in a new environment.
Be Early, But Not Too Early
You don’t want to be late on your first day, its looks awful. But by the same token you don’t wanna be sat on your own in the office in the dark at 6:50am thinking that’ll somehow earn some brownie points with your new boss.
A fair number of people will be involved in your first day and you can’t do anything until they’re ready. Just arrive a little bit before you were told to and give yourself some leeway on the commute in case a cow gets loose on the motorway or the tram driver decides to flee to Guatemala to start a Samba/Punk crossover band with his new girlfriend, Rosalia. Or something.
Don’t Try Too Hard, Play It Cool
Nobody likes a try-hard, but it’s natural you want to impress on your first day. Be polite, be energetic but don’t go too far.
So you might want to leave the personalized knitted sweaters at home. Yes, I know you used Merino wool because it’s less itchy, but you’re still going to look like too much of a keen Kevin.
Smile and Make Eye Contact
Yeah I know, I know it’s 2017 and we don’t do smiling and eye contact. We express our emotions through Spongebob Squarepants memes (just me?) and Parrot GIFs (seriously, look at our Slack). But a warm smile and eye contact can go a long way to cement a tremendous first-day impression and hide, at least for a day, your real character.
Leave the Packed Lunch in the Fridge
If you have nice new co-workers, they might invite you out for lunch on your first day. If this happens, be sure to say “yes, please I love lunch.” Although it might be a little daunting and even if you spent an hour last night making a lovely couscous salad especially for your first day, leave it in the fridge and get to know your new colleagues.
You don’t want to get a reputation as an anti-social hermit (even if you are) and it’s a great chance to feel a bit more comfortable around the people you’re going to be spending 8 hours a day with for the foreseeable future.
Make Some Friends
This tip might be a stretch too far, but if you can try to get beyond, ‘Hi, my name is Geoffrey’ (Oh, is your name, not Geoffrey? I’m sorry.) with at least one person then it can make a big difference to your day.
Some more modern thinking companies might assign you a ‘buddy’ for your first day, but in the absence of this, try to latch onto at least one person and make friends. But still, leave the knitted sweaters at home!
Go, Home Happy
Leave the office knowing that barring any disasters, you did your best on what is a notoriously tough day. Also enjoy this moment, because tomorrow you’ll have to do some real work!