Congratulations on your new job. They picked you! You searched for the role, filled out all the forms, showed up on time in your nice clothes and wowed them. All the questions were answered and you felt good. Nice.
Now it’s time, your first day is here. That first day is like a first date. Oh boy- the jitters and anticipation you must be feeling. It’s important to remember that your employer may feel a bit of the same. In fact, your employer has been waiting for you and needs you. They are anticipating how you will help the company and share your talents. As you head into the very important first day take a moment to prepare yourself.
These 29 thoughts will create a winning first day.
Thoughts on Being New
- They picked you. This company had options and wanted the very best candidate and they picked you. Your job is to delight them with their choice. Be the awesome person they hired.
- Your company is excited for you to start. Be prepared for them to make a big deal. The entire team may have been waiting for you to help fill the gap.
- Have high expectations. You are in the honeymoon phase and your new company should be making you feel welcome and productive with a place to sit, a mentor, and work tools to help you be productive.
- Live up to the hype. Come prepared to write notes, listen and ask questions. You only get to be new once and this is your chance to learn the names and watch the interactions.
- Show up dressed like a winner. Wear those interview clothes. If you have a uniform make it look like a million bucks on you. Give yourself the best chance for a killer first impression.
- Show up on time. I know this may seem like a given but I’m going to add it for emphasis. Be considerate of showing up too early; let the office be ready for you.
- Soak in the culture. I’m sure you want to wow as many as you can and you will. Allow your confidence to shine as you smile and interact with everyone starting with the first employee you see in the parking lot or at the reception desk.
- Let today be the start of something new. Resist the urge to bring up old drama or how you did things at your last job. You left that last job, the past is past.
Thoughts About Attitude
- Eat lunch with someone, anyone. I hope your employer gathers a group for you but if they don’t then take the opportunity to meet someone new and be social. Demonstrate your engagement.
- Smile. No matter what is happening a smile will make you seem positive and people want to help those who are positive.
- Be brave. Even if you are not brave no one will be able to tell the difference yet. Courage will give you power you need.
- Pay Attention. You will never stop learning if you let the lessons come from everyone.
- Ask questions because you are interested. You may know how to run the copier but ask the person showing you who uses this copier, how many copiers are around, etc.
- Live the Platinum rule. The Golden Rule says to treat others as you would be treated. Platinum one-ups things and says “Treat others as they would want to be treated”. Now is the time to learn about your coworkers. They hired you to help improve things for everyone.
- Let the day feel like a dream. Find the positive in all the little things. That is what you’ll remember and the energy you’ll bring back the next day.
- You should be doing what you are passionate about, AND they are paying you. Hold onto the reason you are doing the job; the passion.
- Your company believes you can do it. Believe in yourself. You didn’t go to work for mission impossible.
Thoughts on Communication
- Have your personal elevator speech ready. You’ll have a chance to introduce yourself a lot in the first week. Prep on how you describe your role and how much personal information you’re going to share right off.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. (maybe do that after work) Proudly show the world that you are making your mark in a new place.
- You will have to figure some stuff out on your own. Take a few chances and make a mistake if necessary. When you figure it out on your own you are learning and saving your boss time.
- Ask for help when you need it. Asking allows you to make a connection and learn.
- Give the trainer respect during their time. A trainer can be a great resource in your future. Bonus fact that you are paid to soak in wisdom, contrary to college where you pay to receive the wisdom.
- Check in with your recruiter or the hiring team if you can. It’s important to remember all the people who helped make the first day possible.
- Be there for your manager. Your job is to help your manager get things done. You can be creative, innovative and amazing, but don’t forget your focus.
- Your manager is not there to tell you what to do. A boss is a great resource for sharing your ideas, helping you through red tape and getting your budget. A boss should not make your to-do list.
- When you leave for the day say goodbye. Touching base with your boss or the person who mentored you the first day will get you off to the right start the next day. Build your connections one day at a time.
Thoughts on Change
- You worked hard to get the job. Don’t stop working hard. Luck follows hard working people.
- Embrace change, it is inevitable in a new position. If you let go of a job that was good, then it was for this one that has the potential to be great.
- Success is Relative (this is deep). You will only get as much success as you want. Average is not a solid goal.
Your first day is a big deal so treat it like one. Here’s the deal, as great as a first day is, it is only one day. So if your first day is not all you wanted it to be I encourage you to rinse and repeat the next day. Own it and make it great, help them make it great for you. You are part of the solution now.
I’d love to hear what has been your best first day? Your story may just inspire someone.