Thursday, August 15, 2019

Tips For Your First Day Of A New Job

This time of year tends to come with lots of new beginnings. If you’re heading back to school, that means new classes, potentially a new living space, and more. But, for those of you that aren’t in school, it may also mean a new job and all that is to learn there. I’m feeling extra thankful this year that I’m not in the midst of a move and a job hunt and am instead getting to feel relatively settled in all that I’m doing. However, last year at this time I was preparing to start the job I currently have and thought it could be helpful to share some of my tips for that first day for any of you that may be in that position. 

Come Prepared
Maybe this is my love of new office supplies talking but packing your bag with a planner, notebook, pens, and anything else you may think you need will hopefully have you enter your new office with a bit more confidence. Since all jobs are different, it would be worth checking whether or not you need to bring your own computer or if your office supplies you with one and other logistics of the sort that hopefully, the HR manager has mentioned. Beyond the material items, come prepared on your first day to make a good impression. Put on an outfit you feel confident in (when you’re not sure of the dress code it’s better to overdress!) and arrive a few minutes early. 

Pack Your Lunch
As a planner, I was dead set on packing my lunch the night before I began my first day of work. I had packed a meal I was excited for, and it wasn’t until my hour-long lunch break came around that I realized I left it at home. Talk about a bummer. That day for lunch, I had to figure out what was actually close to our office and ended up eating McDonald’s in my car alone. It’s a funny story now but felt very anti-social at the time. Company culture is going to vary from place to place but packing a lunch will have you prepared whether your co-workers are more likely to eat at the office during their break or head somewhere nearby. It’s an equal split where I work whether people stay or head home during their hour lunch break, but I’ve found that I was able to make friends at my office because I choose to pack my lunch and stay put. Whenever we have a new hire I try to make it a point to tell them that I usually eat lunch outside at 12:30 if they don’t have other plans and would like to join so that they don’t have to eat alone on their first day! 

Take Notes & Ask Questions 
Remember that notebook I mentioned? It’s sure to come in handy now. You’ll likely be trained for your role during your first couple of weeks and if it was anything like that time was for me you’ll discover there is a lot to learn. I’m an avid note tacker any way but especially when someone is explaining something to me one on one about how to be successful in my position. Since the person training you is probably pretty familiar with the information they are sharing (why else would they be training you) don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you may not understand! 

Make Your Space Feel Welcoming & Like Your Own
It took me until about a month in to finally bring in some items to make my cube look a little less sterile. When you spend so much time in a place, you may as well make it feel welcoming with your personal touch. I could use a few more items to spruce up my space but have found that pictures and bulletin boards covered in cute fabric have made it seem happier! 

Introduce Yourself To Co-Workers
On my first day, I was taken on a tour of our office, where I was briefly introduced to everyone who happened to be at their desk. Talk about overwhelming. Thankfully I had LinkedIn stalked the other members of my team, but aside from them, I didn’t remember many names. I was so grateful to discover that people’s nameplates had pictures so I knew I could depend on those as time went on but really appreciated the people that made it a point to re-introduce themselves during the first few weeks knowing that there was no way someone could remember everyone on that first day. In turn, I try to do the same for new hires with hopes that they will feel more comfortable having a familiar face around and a name to go with it! 

What other advice do y’ all have for people on their first day of work? I’d love to hear your ideas! 

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