So it finally happened – all of those Friday nights at the library paid off and a company hired you. They may have taken you on for an internship or a full time job, but either way, crushing the interview process doesn’t mean that you are going to dominate the job right away. We have designed some tips to help make sure you kill it on your first few days at work.
Have an Appropriate Wardrobe
Having an appropriate wardrobe is incredibly important for establishing yourself at your new job. The unfortunate reality is that what you wear says a lot more about you than you think it does. If you show up to your first day as a summer analyst at Goldman Sachs wearing khaki pants, boat shoes and an un-tucked shirt, you will probably be asked to leave, and definitely will not be taken seriously in the near future. However, if you’re going to work at a design firm, you might just fit right in.
The key is to know the environment you are going to work in ahead of time. You should have been in the office at least once for the interview; think back to what people were wearing and try to mimic that. If you can’t recall, or never actually stepped foot in the office, then it’s time to reach out for advice. Ask others you know who may work in a similar environment what they wear. If you still are unsure at that point, contact the recruiter or HR manager who assisted during your hiring process, they are used to this type of question and will be glad to fill you in.
Get into the Sustainable Sleep Pattern
Being mentally functional is pivotal on the first day of work. Many people think that coffee can substitute a good night’s sleep, and occasionally it can. However, the first day of a new job is not a good day to make that assumption. You are going to be meeting dozens of new people and getting thrown all sorts of important information. You need to be on your game and fully functional to show your managers that you are going to be an indispensable asset to them.
Spend the few weeks that lead up to your first day going to sleep, and waking up when you would need to once you are working. That way you can hit the ground running on your first day. You do not want this “break in period” to take place once you have already started working – it will take much longer to catch up once you add on the stress of the job, and you will sacrifice many good first impressions.
Prepare to be Social
Your employer may have a fantastic training program at a resort with food and entertainment allowances, where they teach you how to use their software, comply with company policies, and other things. But there is still a great deal of things that training does not cover. The training doesn’t teach you how to interact with others. That is something that you need to learn for yourself.
Our generation is highly bent on electronic communication, which is fine in certain situations. But chances are good that your manager or their manager will expect to communicate face to face more often than not. Additionally, you want to be confident in your speech when you are meeting your new coworkers for the first time. You want them to remember you as being articulate and appropriate. Learn how to talk to strangers, and learn how to talk to people that are twice your age. Pro Tip: Go to the mall or a park and practice striking up conversations with people you have never met – it seems strange, but it is an excellent way to practice your social skills without damaging your reputation. You might even meet someone who will give you some advice on what you’re going into. Win-win.
Clean up Your Online Presence
It is very important that you have a clean online presence. You may have made it through the recruiting process without getting caught, but that drunk picture of you from your 21st birthday needs to go. Your colleagues will be looking you up just like you will be looking them up. You don’t need to delete everything, and hiding your profile from the public is not a good idea either. Your online presence should be visible; it is a common fact that most people have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts (to name a few…). Trying to hide them may throw up a red flag and indicate that you could be concealing something. Remember, if you wouldn’t want your boss to see it, don’t post.
Be Resilient – You Won’t Understand Everything Right Away
Finally, you need to know the value of resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, failure, or other hardships. Ask smart questions. Your new job is going to be full of uncharted waters, and could definitely be overwhelming at certain points. But that’s okay; your employer knows you’re new. You want to impress them? Show them that you will never give up no matter how difficult your assignment is.