So you’ve finally landed what I like to call your first “Big-Boy” or “Big-Girl” job. It’s extremely exciting to know that you were charming and skilled enough to “woo” your interviewers and actually get a job that uses your freshly earned degree, but you don’t want to blow it by letting first-day jitters get the best of you. That said, to learn a few tips on how to make your first day as smooth as possible, follow some of the tips below.
Dress the Part. Similar to the first day of school, you want to put your best foot forward on your first day of your new job. That means ironing your clothes, making sure everything is the appropriate length, and tucking in your shirt. Even if your boss tells you that everyone is laid back and dressing semi-business casual is ok—my first boss tried to tell me jeans were fine to wear at his start-up business— you’ll still want to look your absolute best on the first day. You can recover from over dressing but never from under dressing. Throughout the week you can get a better feel for what everyone else is wearing and what is considered appropriate/not appropriate.
Arrive Sooner, Than Later. Even though you’ve already been to your place of employment for your interview, a series of unfortunate events could prevent you from getting to work on time. On my first day, my GPS decided it wanted to stop working and since I didn’t know my way around downtown I arrive 15 minutes late to work. There is also traffic you need to take into account and finding the appropriate parking garage which can be somewhat of a hassle. Remember: it’s better to arrive 30 minutes early than 30 minutes late.
Hide your Shyness. This is by far the most important tip you should follow. I’m not suggesting that you should go crazy, but do try your best to be a little out going and make the initiative to introduce yourself to your new co-workers on your first day—even if they’re not your same age. Accept lunch invites as well (even if you brought your own lunch on the first day). Research shows that skill isn’t always enough—those who mesh well with the company culture and are in a sense “popular” members of their teams are typically the ones up for promotions and pay raises. So try to get your foot in the door early by getting to know your new work family.