For all of you college grads out there, starting your very first full-time job in the working world is such an exciting time… and in some cases, it can be just as stressful. There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to making a good first impression on your new managers and co-workers. And also, starting a brand new job usually calls for a bit of a learning curve. Don’t get me wrong… beginning a career is also incredibly exciting. Not only are you about to acquire an entirely new skillset and learn a lot about the field that you’re in, but you’re also bound to make some new friends and learn about yourself in the process.
So to take the stress out of starting a new job, I’ve put together a list of tips to survive your first week of work. Some of these may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people navigate their first week of work in a not-so-elegant manner. So, without further ado, take a look at these tips to nail your first week of work and make the best first impression ever…
Being on time (or, even better, early) to work is crucial for making a good first impression. Since traffic and public transportation can be unpredictable in bigger cities, give yourself a little extra padding. You’ll never get in trouble for arriving to work 10 minutes early. One thing to note: this doesn’t just apply to your first week of work. If you want to stand out and show your dedication to the job, I recommend showing up on time (or even a touch early) every single day. It will give you major brownie points with your boss, and will also eliminate the stress of rushing to work when you know you’re going to be a tardy.
We’ve covered appropriate work attire before, so if you’re wondering what to wear to your new job, take a peek at this blog. It also can’t hurt to ask your employer if there is a certain dress code at your new office. Being underdressed is never acceptable (save the crop tops and short shorts for after work hours). In fact, dressing unacceptably is a surefire way to make the wrong impression in a brand new office. You can’t go wrong with a nice pair of slacks, a button down blouse and some sensible heels. And when in doubt, overdress! You can always get a little casual as you get more comfortable in your new position.
While most companies will provide you with plentiful office supplies and a computer, it’s always good to come prepared. I recommend bringing a notebook, a few pens, a phone charger, and sometimes even a laptop (just in case your new office computer isn’t fully set up). Also, take a peek at our blog about the 10 items every woman should keep in her desk at work. You can pack those, too.
…And smile while you do it! Make sure to introduce yourself to every person you come across, and do your best to remember their name. Even write it down if you have to! You’re going to be spending a lot of time with these people, and it’s best to get started on the right foot. If you’re shy or reserved, try to force yourself to interact to each new coworker you come across, even if that means saying a simple “hello.”
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your first week of work. The more you learn upfront, the easier the job will be in the long term. I also recommend writing down the answers. There is so much information coming at you during a first week of work that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget. So even if it seems like a simple response, jot it down. You’ll thank yourself later.
Stay Social Media Savvy.
This one is very important, especially in today’s age of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. If you had a rough first week, don’t tweet about it. If there’s a certain guy in the sales department that rubbed you the wrong way, don’t let your Facebook friends know. And if you’re going out with your girlfriends on a Friday night to celebrate a successful week of work, don’t post scandalous photos to a public account. All of these mistakes could definitely come back to haunt you. Read all of our tips and tricks here about staying social media savvy and remember Lauren’s golden rule of social media.
Lend a Hand.
During your first week and beyond, ask how you can help out, even if it’s beyond your job description. If the receptionist needs help unloading a box of supplies, lend a hand. If a coworker is overwhelmed and seems overly stressed, ask if there’s anything you can do. It never hurts to help others, and it’s also a very important quality in a highly valued employee.
Now that we’ve gone through these tips, don’t forget to have fun! Starting a new job is the beginning of an exciting chapter in your life, where you’ll meet amazing people, learn new things and gain confidence and skills that you never knew you’d have. Enjoy it! And make sure to read my blogs about email etiquette and getting along with a difficult coworker.
Do you have any other tips to add to the list?