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Posted on 2019-08-01 03:00:00

Make it count for the rest of your career.

Ahhh... the first day of your new job. Whether it is your first-ever job or your third, it can be a stressful day filled with anxiety. Will you like your colleagues? What is your immediate boss like? Are there “secret rules” that you will break on your first day?

Most importantly, how can you ace your first day so that it sets the tone for the rest of your time there, specifically making it a successful one? By doing all of the below.

#1 Don’t fake it till you make it You know the whole pretend you know what you are doing and talking about? Get rid of that because it won’t serve you any purpose, especially on your first day at work. What you need to be doing is asking questions to understand your role and the company better; not pretending you already know it all – where does learning come in then? Rather than faking it, use your first day as a day to pick up knowledge, understand the office dynamics and tap into your colleagues’ experience and personal take on what it’s really like to work in the company.

#2 Make time to speak to your immediate boss Granted, your first day will be filled with introductions, filling up forms, orientation and so on. But do make it a point to touch base with your boss. You may find yourself caught up with HR stuff or being put on a special assignment already but it is important to check in with your boss for a quick chat to introduce yourself (in case you’ve not met her during any of your interviews or had just a brief intro). Ask if there is anything specific you need to accomplish in the first month or what the general expectations are for your role.

#3 Talk to your peers in an informal setting Go for lunch. Be friendly and try to find out as much as you can about the people you work with – their experience, the number of years they’ve been at the company, what their roles are. It’s easier to do this in an informal setting than in the office because your colleagues are more likely to let loose and be more casual during lunch, not during a meeting. Don’t get too personal though on the first day or first month like asking about their marital status.

#4 Project high energy You may not realise this but the spotlight will be on you for your first couple of days. Your boss will pay attention to how you work with the rest of your colleagues; your colleagues will take note of your personality and what your working style is like. HR may even ask them for their feedback on whether you are the right fit or not! So with your attitude and work ethic most visible right now, you need to show enthusiasm and positivity. No company wants to realise they hired a pessimist who lacks initiative; they’ll be wondering what happened to the “go-getter” who claims to add value to the company! So whatever high beat energy you projected during your interview, keep it up.

#5 Show genuine interest to learn Imagine the new person saying, “Yah, I already know this.” Or “Oh that’s not how we used to do things in my previous company.” Whatever you learnt before or how you did things prior to your new job – leave it. We’re not saying you should completely dismiss it; they will come in handy in your new job but what we are trying to say is you don’t come into the new job with your own rules and your own way of doing things. Different companies have different procedures and styles. It’s best you learn what these are so you will fit in quickly. Also, dismissing the person who is trying to teach you shows you are arrogant and not up for learning new things. Bad move.

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

By Mel Sim

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