Top 8 first day of work tips

By Rene Ryba Nov 26, 2019
A new associate demonstrates the first day of work tips

Plain and simple, first days are scary! There are so many unknowns – what will you be doing exactly? Where will your desk be? Who will you be working with? What should you wear?

Despite the uncertainty, first days are important. It is the time for you to make a good first impression and prove the company made the right decision by hiring you for the job.

Make day one on the job the best it can be by following my top eight first day of work tips below.

First day of work tips:

1. Calm down

Naturally, you are going to be nervous for your first day. Being anxious is normal, but I suggest trying to ease your nerves by reminding yourself you are here for a reason. You would not have been hired if your manager was not confident you had the skills to be successful in the role.

2. Arrive early

I highly encourage you to practice good office etiquette and arrive early on your first day. Stepping into the lobby of your new employer about 10-15 minutes before your scheduled start time will give you enough time to check in with the receptionist and gather your thoughts before your manager comes down to greet you.

3. Know the dress code

Speak with your hiring manager prior to your start day about what the dress code is. Regardless if the dress code is casual or business, dress for success by coming to work in clothes that make you feel confident.

4. Come prepared

No matter where you work, you will be filling out a lot of paperwork on the first day. Ask your manager what documents and materials you need to bring with you. Review the information prior to your start date so you are prepared.

5. Be outgoing and engaged

Even if you are typically an introverted person, I encourage you to really put yourself out there on your first day. Your leader will most likely introduce you to members of the team; this is your opportunity to ask questions and be engaged. Start building rapport on your first day by being positive, outgoing and ready to learn.

Extra tip: Mentioning that you are new to the company when introducing yourself is very powerful. People are more likely to follow-up by asking if you need anything or if there is anything they can help you with. This is your chance to ask any additional questions you have.

6. Ask questions

A lot of information is going to be thrown at you on the first day and it might not make a lot of sense. If you are confused about something, do not be afraid to ask for clarification. There are no bad questions.

7. Be flexible

Since you are not exactly sure what is going to happen on your first day of work, you need to be prepared for anything. You will be participating in on-boarding, completing paperwork, listening to presenters, meeting your team and getting a feel for the work you will be doing. Just breathe and take it one step at a time.

8. Make the most of downtime

If you have completed all of your paperwork and still have a few hours left in your day, see if your leader has anything additional you can work on. If they do not, this would be a good time to explore the company policies, training manuals, procedure books, etc. You can also take a few minutes reviewing the notes you took during onboarding or start organizing your new workspace.

Overall, enjoy your first day and look forward to the experience you will gain.

No such thing as too much professional development.

Check out more of our blogs about advancing in your career. We have tips for job interviews, insight on different types of jobs, advice on how to ask for a job referral and more.

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About the Author

Rene Ryba

Rene is a Schneider Corporate Recruiting Manager in Green Bay, Wis. She started her career at Schneider in September of 1997 as a Logistics Technician and continued to progress as a Team Coordinator, Customer Service Manager and eventually landed in Corporate Recruiting, where she has been hiring in top talent since 2005. Rene also owns a home-building construction company with her husband and enjoys working with clients on design aspects.

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