How to Impress on Your First Day at Work

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: September 21, 2015

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Although your first day on the job can understandably be a little nerve-wracking, it’s important to make a good first impression. We’ve therefore shared our 8 top tips to help you achieve just that!

It's true: many employers have previously considered young people to be unprepared for the demands of the workplace and the nature of the work expected of them. In fact, in a recent survey by the Australian Government, it was revealed that 5% of employers felt that young people wanted to “start at the top” rather than work their way up through a business. Therefore, being a young person in a new job can often mean that your colleagues might expect you to be lazy and unprepared. Make sure you follow our tips below to help you prove them all wrong!

Tip #1: Be on time!

This is definitely the most important tip. If possible, arrive a few minutes early so that you can make sure you’re at the right entrance, asking for the right person and heading to the right room. If the first impression you make is bursting through the door ten minutes after your allotted time, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of your employment!

Tip #2: Have a positive attitude

Greet new faces with a smile and accept any new task with positivity. On your first day, you may be given some fairly basic, menial tasks, but smile and show how helpful you can be.

Tip #3: Dress according to the job

If you’ve landed yourself an office job, wear smart office attire. If you’re working on a building site, leave the shirt and tie at home! However, it’s always worth remembering that you can dress your outfit down once you get there if needed, but it’s hard to dress it up, so make sure you aim high!

Tip #4: Ask questions

Not only should you ask about the jobs you’ve been given, but also ask about your company and your co-workers. Make an effort to get to know people and to be genuinely interested in what’s going on around you, plus always do your best to remember new names! Your first day on the job might be a bit scary, but if you can make a couple of friends, the second day will be easier. Plus, the connections you make now may come in useful further down the line, as CEO Margaret Heffernan explains in her recent TED interview

Tip #5: Take notes

If someone is explaining something complicated, or you have lots of information being given to you all at once, take notes! Not only may you find it easier to remember what you’ve been shown, but it also demonstrates that you’re taking your role seriously and want to learn.

Tip #6: Take the initiative

If you finish the work you’ve been given, ask for more or be proactive and suggest something that you could help on. This makes a brilliant first impression and is much better than finishing your work and then staring into space, waiting for someone to tell you what to do next.

Tip #7: Avoid personal business on company time

Put your mobile on silent or switch it off. Don’t check your emails or update your Facebook profile, even in the toilets! It’s inevitable that you will see other people around you doing this, but you are new and so you need to be on your best behaviour to make a good impression!

Tip #8: Avoid social media

It’s fine to put up a status saying “I’m excited to start my new job today” but bear in mind that even if you’re not Facebook friends with any of your new colleagues, it’s possible some of your friends are, or that your new employer may even check your profile. Avoid mentioning anything more than generalisations if you want to stay out of trouble.

Ready to hit the ground running in your career? 

We hope these 8 tips will help your first day on the job go without a hitch! Good luck in your brand new career. If you need any further job advice, take a look at our helpful career infographic here.

 

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Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabeth Harmon

is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years of experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more. She is a writer and journalist for the Open Colleges Careers Blog.

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