What to do on your First Day at Work

Congratulations!  You got the job!  Amazing stuff.

Your interviews were a hit and you were offered the job based on your skill and merit. Every job you have had before has prepped you for this day.  Also every manager and overall personality type you have encountered until now has prepped you for this as well!  You just don’t know it yet.  Although they say our public schools are failing us, one thing our schools do do without us even being aware of it then is have us interact and grow with people similar and different from us. These characteristics in high school teach us how to interact with different personality types and how to manage that interaction.


When we enter the work world it can be really scary to walk into a new office and not be aware of the personality types, where people are mentally in their jobs, whether or not they are happy with their current manager or employment situation. Either way don’t fret, this is a good basic list of things you can do on your first day on the job even if you are scared.  This list will help you be prepared, confident and ready to take on the new challenges the job may bring your way.

1. Look the part and project high energy!

Dress for success.  This is your first day and it can have a long lasting image on you for your time at the job.  Some experts say that the first day can make or break relationships, so you want to be dressed professionally.  Even if you already got the job, some say this is an extension of the interviewing process.  You should either be in a suit or professional business casual wear, with an enthusiastic attitude to match.


If you are a woman, don’t overdo the makeup, if you are a man, make sure you are cleanly shaven with a semi fresh new haircut.  You want to look polished even though you may be nervous.  I would also be sure to eat breakfast or keep a power bar in your pocket as I find I am more nervous when I am not well fed.


2. Do your research.

Make sure you know the basics of what the company does before you walk in.  Also try to memorize some of the management and who reports to who on LinkedIn before you go, so you have some common things to discuss.  Maybe you worked at the same company before, maybe you went to the same college, maybe you lived in a certain area at a time.  No need to go overboard, but get a basic knowledge about the company ahead of time.


Also what questions will you have about your job ahead of time?  For example, I am walking into a tech sales job so I know as a salesperson it is good to know a few things, for example, how many ad demand partners do you have at the moment, what differentiates us from our competitors (I know some, but good to get the teams perspective as well), what publishers are currently working with us and what makes them special? All these I will have prepped with me, so that in the introductory meeting we can review together and it looks like I came prepared and ready to work.  But not in an over aggressive way.  Although you are probably ready to hit the ground running, I would say the first day is almost like a cocktail hour.  You want to introduce yourself and get to know each person even if a little but.  Few minutes tops so they can continue with their work day.

3.  Relax, smile and be ready to listen.

This is the hardest part in my book.  I find that when I am nervous I just internalize a lot of the nervousness and become shy.  Now is the time to ask questions and be friendly, but don’t look too overly driven as nobody likes an over achiever (even if you are).  I would make sure you are smiling in a good approachable mood, positive and ready to take action if someone asks for you to do something.


It is important to catch the tone and mood of the group socially, so you can understand who is who in the company.  It will take some time to get an idea of who is who in the company, but you will have the next months to figure this out.  I would take notes as the HR manager reviews the company and it’s bearings.  Be attentive, put your phone away and give the respect due to he or she as she reviews the company.

4.  Be ready to pitch yourself, your experience and how you got here in a minute or less.

Now is the time to introduce yourself to your peers.  This is a crucial time for you to give an impression that could last even after you decide to leave this job for another. Be prepared to share your previous work experience, while staying high energy and positive.  Be confident, but not overly confident where you come off like a cocky jerk.  You want your peers also in that same meeting to understand your qualifications and career highlights before you came to your new job, and how you are set up for success to do really well here to grow the business.  Keep your communication clear, friendly, high energy and positive.


5.  Hide your phone, turn in on silent, check your posture and be yourself.

You deserve this job, and your previous interviewers know the same.  Keep attentive, so good to ditch your phone and leave it on silent in your bag.  If you have to check it, use the restroom.  Make sure it is set on vibration or silent mode which is even better.  You do not want to disturb the company by taking calls on your first day.  Also check your posture.  Standing up straight is a sign of confidence, and others will grab a great professional image of you.


Overall, congrats on your first day of work!  You worked hard to get here, and now is your chance to shine!  Be respectful, be attentive, be clear communicatively, and kick ass!   Respect!



Leave a Reply