Starting a new job could be as nervewracking and scary as your first day of school. This is absolutely normal because you’re both excited about your new job and afraid of making mistakes, but it is important to take a minute and focus on making a great first impression on your colleagues and your boss.
1. Showing up late
This is probably the worst thing you can do on your first day, or even your first week. Coming late to work, especially on your first day, gives the impression of a lazy, unprepared, and unserious worker. Traffic is not an excuse, let alone a good one, for coming late to work. Leave home as early as possible and give yourself time for unforeseen circumstances such as accidents.
2. Not asking for help
It takes some time to understand or adapt to a new work environment and know how things are done. Asking questions will help you avoid unnecessary mistakes. Do not be too shy or too afraid of appearing clueless to ask questions. It is important to have a clear understanding of what your responsibilities are, so, if you’re not sure, ask as many questions as you can think of. Remember to ask well thought out, specific questions that are related to your work and office environment. Learn how to ask for help in a tactful way and you’ll find yourself performing a lot better.
3. Waiting for work to be handed to you
On your first day at work, you might not have a lot to do as you’re just getting into the swing of things. Avoiding being passive and staying idle by waiting to be handed work. Be proactive. Ask someone if there’s anything they need help with. Ask your supervisor or boss if there are any tasks you can do. This makes you appear as a useful and indispensable team player.
4. Over Socializing or not socializing
On the socializing scale, there are two extremes, and it is important to find a balance. On one hand, it can be easy to get carried away by gossip and being too friendly with your colleagues that you start to ignore the work you actually have to do. On the other hand, do not be the office snob who doesn’t relate well with colleagues. It is important to build good relationships and valuable connections with your coworkers as this helps you work together more effectively.
5. Being overconfident
While it is important to not be too intimidated on your first job, it is also important to not be over confident as this gives off an air of arrogance. Do not overestimate your abilities by assuming you know everything. Open yourself to learning from others. Being too overconfident might make your colleagues less likely to assist you when you need help as no one ever appreciates the overeager new employee who thinks they can solve all the company’s problems.
6. Not dressing appropriately
Every office has a dress code and dressing inappropriately will not only make you stick out like a sore thumb, but will also make you and others feel uncomfortable. Check the dress code with the human resources department before your first day. If you are still in doubt, it’s better to show up too formal than too casual and then observe how your co-workers are dressed during the first week
7. Not handling mistakes correctly
It is nearly impossible to reach the end of your first day at work without making one single mistake. Whether it is getting someone’s name wrong, not properly following instructions, or sending an email to the wrong person, it’s important to handle the mistake or mistakes the right way. Do not pretend like your mistake did not happen, and do not excessively ruminate over the mistake. Instead, own up to the mistakes and find out what steps you can take to avoid making those mistakes again. Finally, let it go and move on.
Starting a new job is exciting and it’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of it all. Your first few weeks and months could set the tone for the rest of your time at the organisation, so it is best to start on the right note by avoiding these mistakes.