9 First Day of Work Tips to Make a Good Impression

You’re starting a new job – congratulations! The first day in a new job is always a combination of exciting and nerve-wracking. You’re eager to make a good impression and get off on the right foot.

At Addition Financial, we realize that changing jobs is part of life. Our members sometimes ask us for help preparing for a new job. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of nine first day of work tips to help you out as you prepare for the big day.

#1: Dress to Impress

The first thing you can do to make a great first impression starts before you leave home on your first day of work. You guessed it – we’re talking about what you wear!

Before you start your new job, find out the dress code. It’s becoming increasingly common for workplaces to allow casual dress, but dress codes can vary widely depending on the industry. When in doubt, it’s better to overdress than to show up wearing something inappropriately casual.

#2: Ask Questions

Nobody expects you to know everything on your first day. If you’re unsure about something, ask. It’s always better to ask a question than to do something wrong and be required to do it over!

Your first few days will likely include a lot of training. Asking questions will help you learn the ropes and show people that you’re interested in your job and ready to be a good employee.

#3: Take Notes

While you’re asking questions and figuring things out, take notes. This is such an important tip and one that a lot of new employees don’t implement.

You’re going to be learning a lot of things in your first few days. Taking notes will ensure you don’t forget anything important. It’ll also show your trainers that you consider their instruction valuable and want to remember it.

#4: Vet Your Social Media Ahead of Time

Anyone who’s been online in the past 10 years has read at least one nightmare story about someone who lost their job due to an inappropriate Tweet or Facebook status. Do yourself a favor. Before you start your new job, take a run through your social media and clear out anything you wouldn’t want your new coworkers (or boss) to see. That way, if anyone follows you or sends a friend request, you’ll be covered.

#5: Read the Employee Manual

We know it’s tempting to assume that your new employer’s manual is like the Apple terms and conditions – something to skim at best, or even ignore. But it’s a mistake to ignore the employee manual.

Some specific things to check out include:

  • Your employer’s internet use and social media policies.
  • Email monitoring. A lot of companies monitor employees’ email.
  • BYO policies. A lot of companies have strict policies regarding which devices (BYOD) or apps (BYOA) employees can use on company property and networks.
  • Sick leave and vacation policies.
  • Employee benefits.

You may not have time to read the entire manual on your first day. If you don’t, bring it home with you and make sure you read it before your second day.

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#6: Find Out Your Boss’s Expectations

Your boss is the person who’ll weigh in on performance reviews, salaries and every aspect of your job performance. Finding out what they expect in terms of performance, communication and other aspects of your job will help you make a great first impression.

#7: Stay Out of Work Politics

It can be tempting to hang out with the office gossip to learn what’s going on, but resist the temptation. On your first day, it’s a guarantee that none of the hot gossip applies to you anyway – and others may treat you differently if it seems like you’re seeking drama.

Instead, put your head down and work. Pay attention to who’s a superstar and who’s not, and then do what you can to emulate the superstars. That’s how you’ll get ahead.

#8: Be Flexible

Flexibility is a good quality to cultivate, especially when you’re starting a new job. You don’t need to bend over backwards to accommodate every request, but it’s a good idea to go with the flow at first and do what you can to help out.

You have every right to set healthy boundaries – you’re under no obligation to pick up your boss’s dry cleaning if that’s not in your job description. But flexibility is a virtue and can help you make a great first impression.

#9: Avoid Making Demands

Finally, don’t come into a new job expecting everybody else to bend to your wishes. As a new employee, you may be subject to a probation period. Even if you’re not, acting like a dictator isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Instead, focus on earning the trust and respect of your boss and coworkers. Once you’ve done that, you can work on changing things where it’s appropriate.

The first day on a new job is a time to focus on making a great first impression and reinforcing the qualities that got you hired. These nine first day of work tips can help you accomplish that goal – and set yourself up for success.

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