A new job is a great opportunity to start afresh. This time you’ll never turn up late, emails will be filed and you’ll get to grips with the art of delegation.
But beware, a bad first day could set you off on the wrong foot no matter how good your intentions: make sure your colleague’s first impressions are positive with these seven steps.
1. If you’re not sure, ask
There’s no such thing as a stupid question on your first day, so get any queries in quick. Establishing where the printer (that’s right behind you) is, how to get your pass to open the front door or what your line manager’s called will only get more awkward as time goes on.
When you’re taken on a circuit of the new office — no matter how many desks you have to parade — keep the corners of your mouth resolutely upturned. A smiling face exudes confidence and warmth and it’s a vital ingredient in making friends.
3. Make introductions
With any luck your manager will take responsibility for this. But if colleagues are missed out, make the introductions yourself. If you keep your distance, people will assume the new starter has a bad attitude.
4. Remember people’s names
Everyone has problems remembering names, but practice methods to make them stick. Try to use the new name straight away, repeat it over in your head or note it down.
Another great trick is to make associations. Think of an image or scenario linked to the name that’s easy to remember: if you meet a Helen, imagine her head is a giant melon, or a Tom could morph into a blue train. Ok, so it sounds a bit bizarre, but it really does work!
5. Don’t be a know-it-all
Every workplace is different. You may have experienced similar processes or environments before, but just hold back andlisten. Nobody likes a know-it-all and constantly interrupting someone is rude. For your first day, focus on asking questions to make sure you’re not talking out of turn.
6. Know your place
Find out who you report to and who reports into you. You’ll rub colleagues up the wrong way if you fail to keep your boss in the loop or take decisions without consulting the right people first.
7. Be professional at all times
There’s no way to identify who the gossips, backstabbers and gameplayers are on your first day. But they know who you are, and this makes you an easy target. Be careful about who you let your guard down with and watch what you say.