First day at work
I got through the CV screening, did well at the interview and on the 13th of April I signed my first employment contract. Great! But it was not over yet…
I was very nervous about my first day at work. Everything was going to be new and I felt like I had to prove to my manager that he was right to hire me instead of one of the many other candidates. Fortunately, I had some tips that I read and received from my friends to help me enjoy the day and make a good impression on the team as well. I’d like to share with you those that really worked for me.
1. It’s always better to overdress than underdress
I forgot to ask about the company’s dress code during the interview. Instead of assuming “to the nines”, I came in wearing jeans and realised that that was not appropriate. I changed and came back thinking that I would never underdress again. From now on, I’ll go by the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”!
2. Showing up early
I decided to show up five minutes early because it gives a good impression and I thought that as I had a busy day ahead of me, each minute counted. However, I had to make sure that I wasn’t going to be the very first person on site in case I needed a key or a badge to get in.
3. Relaxing, listening and observing
In my experience, few people expect you to be fully effective after a few days, even less so after a few hours. So I took a deep breath and listened to what people were telling me and, because my memory can only go so far, I took a lot of notes. I forced myself to momentarily put aside the big accomplishments and to first focus on getting used to my new team, environment and tasks.
People told me to smile, participate in conversations, asks questions, introduce myself to everybody and go to lunch with my colleagues if offered. So I took any opportunity to get to know my teammates better and let them know more about myself, as I believe that relationships play a decisive role in efficiency and well being at work. But the best advice I have received was: be yourself.
5. Learning about the unofficial job description
One thing I learned during my academic and professional experience is that what’s written on paper and what you actually do may be slightly different. So when my manager explained in details the tasks I was assigned with, I listened very carefully.
Thanks to these tips, I spent a wonderful first day. That’s why I thought it could be useful to share them with you. Be it your first job or your fifth, I believe that they always remain valid.
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