First Day Do’s & Don’ts 

Congratulations! You have landed the job and your first day has arrived! Many people experience first-day jitters, but there are ways to minimize any worries to create an excellent start. Several best practices to consider include showing up early, being attentive, and preparing in advance to meet your new co-workers. When in doubt, always remember that you were selected from a multitude of applicants, and your initial day in the office will be smooth sailing! Here are tips on how to make the best of this new situation and continue making a great impression.

Arrive Early
Although you have been offered the position, the first day is still a meter of your professionalism, especially your punctuality. Make sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to get situated and begin the onboarding process. By affording yourself a solid window of time, it showcases your enthusiasm for the job without going overboard. Adversely, if you show up more than 15 minutes early, it may send the wrong message. Your point of contact may not be expecting you to arrive that soon, and overall, the action can be interpreted as over-eagerness. Also, when planning your timeline, consider variables such as traffic, your familiarity with the area, and other situations that could potentially make you tardy.

Don’t Volunteer
Another way that overenthusiasm can derail you on the first day is to volunteer for projects or try to become involved in initiatives that have already started. Although you want to show that you are willing to learn – jumping in on tasks that you know nothing about can backfire. Typically, your manager is not expecting much from you on day one. This is your opportunity to engage with your peers, do research, and observe the flow of business. It is more important to acclimate to the responsibilities of your particular role rather than to commit to larger projects.

Be Attentive
The key to a seamless first day is balance. It is essential to avoid being overzealous, and on the opposing end, antisocial. Although it is unlikely that you will meet your newest best friend on day-one, make sure that you demonstrate that you are open to camaraderie. If you are invited for lunch, make sure to accept and get to know your co-workers. Stray away from being on your cellphone not only when at your desk, but with colleagues. Everyone else may be checking their phone, but on the first day, it is a good idea to remain aware of your surroundings and show interest.

Avoid the Company Gossip
Ordinarily, when you are in a new work environment, people are very eager to learn more about you. Although this is positive, it is critical to be wary of the information being relayed during the conversation. If you encounter someone who bad-mouths others or speaks negatively about the company, it is in your best interest to disengage. A conversation can be misconstrued as gossip, which may spread through the office like wildfire. On the first day, any involvement of that sort can reflect poorly, especially at a time when it is essential to create a good reputation. If faced with this situation, an excellent tactic is to keep the chatting brief; do not engage too far.

Are you looking to advance your career? Goodwill provides no-cost career services for anyone seeking employment or a higher-paying job. We offer job seekers the tools and resources to feel confident, purpose-driven, and successful. Goodwill’s My Career Advisor is the best place to start if you’re planning for the future. Signing up is quick, easy, and free.



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