How to Kill It on Your First Day in a New Job
First days are famously stressful, so we've put together a short list of handy dandy tips to get you through your first day in your new job.
Be early, but not too early, you irritatingly eager beaver
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 elope to Guatemala to start a Samba/Punk crossover band with his new girlfriend, Rosalia. Or something.
...in fact, don’t try too hard in general. Play it cool man.
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 wanna you want to leave the personalised knitted sweaters at home. Yes I know you used Merino wool because it’s less itchy but you’re still gonna look like too much of a keen Kevin.
Break the habit of a lifetime: 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, come look at our Slack). But a warm smile and eye contact can go a long way to cement a great first day impression and hide, at least for a day, your true 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 cous cous 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 a friend
This 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 actually have to do some real work!