Surviving and Thriving on Your First Day

January 16th, 2015

You’ll be starting your new job in just a few days and you’re ready to make a great impression and launch your new relationships on the right foot. But since you don’t yet know these people and you aren’t familiar with the culture of your new workplace, you may have to make some educated guesses and chose your moves carefully. Consider taking the steps below.

Remember names and use them.

On your first day, you’ll have a lot to learn and a lot to remember. But keep the names of your coworkers at the top of your list of priorities. When you’re introduced, repeat the name of each new contact back to them as they share it. Write it down later if this will help you.

Take notes.

Carry a notebook with you (paper or digital) and take notes as your new boss, your mentor, or your coworkers explain aspects of your role and responsibilities. Even if you don’t use these notes very much later on, you’ll make the right impression by showing interest your new job and an eagerness to learn new things.

Seek connection and exposure.

If you aren’t automatically taken to your new boss’s office and introduced to him or her, show some initiative and request this introduction directly. Do the same for other directors, clients and department heads who you know you’ll need to work with in the future. Ask about work flows, processes and software platforms that aren’t shown to you.

Avoid idling.

On your first day, there may be occasions when your services aren’t needed and you don’t have very much to do. But when this happens, don’t stand still. Ask for schedules, look for projects, and keep your hands busy. Make it clear that you didn’t step into the job intending to stand around.

Ask smart questions.

Keep your questions necessary, smart, meaningful, and constant. And remember the answers so you don’t have to ask the same questions over and over again. While you’re working on asking questions only one time, you can also work on keeping your mistakes limited; don’t make the same ones more than once.

For more on how to manage your first day and get your new job off to a great start, reach out to the staffing professionals at PSU.

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