Start a new job? Chances are you've already made a huge impact on the hiring managers, but on your first day, it's time to impress the entire team. The first impression is usually what people remember the most. In fact, 95 percent of people believe that first impressions are very important. To avoid a negative first impression, show your new co-workers that you are prepared with everything you need to succeed, including a positive attitude.
When you've prepared yourself well for your interviews, studied the company, researched salary opportunities, and practiced for salary and bonus negotiations, then you've gone through the hardest part of the hiring process – but now the real work begins. Your next step is to prepare for your first day at work and we've covered you below.
Read on to check out our free checklist for starting a new job, or jump to our infographic for tips on how to get through your first week on the job.
Tasks you need to do before your start date
If you really want to have an impactful first day, you need to start preparing well in advance. A sophisticated evening routine the night before you start your new gig can prepare you for success. Here are some things to do before your start date:
1. Research commuting
Taking the wrong turn and getting lost on the way is never fun, but especially on the first day of work. It's a good idea to find out about your commute the night before. Find out how to get there: if you take your car, will you have gasoline? If you use public transport, do you have the pass? Check your map to see how long it takes to get there and which roads to take.
Remote job? While you're likely just commuting from your bed to your desk, make sure your email and other required logins are working properly.
2. Lay out your clothes
What you want to wear is also one of your first impressions. To avoid looking for something to wear in your closet an hour before your first day, choose your best outfit the day before. If you don't have the right clothes, a visit to the store may be required to keep you looking your best. Looking good and dressing professionally can help you feel confident and improve your job performance. And don't forget your sweater – you never know when it will get too cold in the office!
Remote job? Don't skip this step and think that you're ready to wear your pajamas! Most early days at work will require you to have your camera for the show. Plus, it helps to feel together even when you are at home.
3. Prepare your best small talk
Tired of talking about the weather during coffee breaks? To avoid talking about the same boring topics with your coworkers, make sure you have some fun and interesting things to talk about. When starting a new job, you have to make small talk with lots of different people. Some topics to talk about could include: your hobbies, sports you might like, favorite places in the area, or even a career podcast you recently heard.
4. Decide on your breakfast
Don't forget the most important meal of the day – breakfast! Make sure you have a plan for what you are going to do so you don't have to think about it in the morning. Find out if you need extra time to prepare the food or if you have to run to a coffee shop beforehand. A good breakfast before the first day at work gives you the energy you need for the necessary training. Planning meals ahead of time also helps prevent decision fatigue on the first day.
5. Pack your bag
Just like when planning the outfit, you don't want to forget to bring an important document and start the first day on the wrong impression. Make a list of everything you will need on your first day, and don't forget any important documents given to you by the HR department or the hiring manager. We'll cover what to bring in the next section.
Remote job? Working from home doesn't mean you can leave everything scattered around your house – make sure you have all of the things you need around your desk.
6. Set your alarm clock
This step may seem obvious, but it's important that you don't overlook it. Just like with your interviews, it is very important to be on time for your first day of work. Being late for work can make a bad first impression, so make sure you set an alarm clock (or several) for a reasonable time so you can get ready and be on time.
What to bring on your first day at work
Don't wait to pack your work bag at the last minute or you might forget something important. Here are some things to have in your pocket before starting a new job:
7. Collect required documents
Sometimes it is better to be over-prepared and pack extra documents as you may need something to complete your hiring process. Check your email and see if the hiring manager or HR contact has made a note of what to bring. Make sure you have your ID, bank details, and employment documents. To be even better prepared, you can even learn more about 401 (k) s so that you will be familiar with it when your employer provides the documents to you.
8. Carry a notepad and pen
When you start a new job, you are presented with a lot of information throughout the day. With a notepad and pen packed and handy, you can remember everything you learned on your first day and what you may need in the future. If you're not a pen-and-paper type, you can put things on your phone notes or on your computer – just let your boss know you are taking notes, not texting!
Remote job? You should also have a notepad and pen on hand or open the notes on your computer when you have Zoom meetings.
9. Pack your lunch
Having a packed lunch in your pocket can be a quick way to get something to eat and rest while you work. On your first day, you will likely be invited to lunch by your co-workers or provided by the office. In any case, it's always better to play it safe, so make sure you bring a packed lunch that you would like to take home with you later.
Remote job? Do not skip this step. You don't want to spend a large part of your lunch break preparing something to eat. Having a meal to go will save you time.
10. Find a good water bottle
One of the many benefits of water is that it keeps you hydrated, which helps you stay energetic and productive. With a good water bottle you save yourself the trip to the water fountain at work.
Remote job? Make sure you have a water bottle with you too – too many trips to the kitchen can cause you to lose focus on day one. Just be careful not to spill anything on your computer.
11. Learn more about your position
As a new employee, they don't expect you to know everything. Instead, you will learn a lot in the first few weeks. Before your first day at work, find out more about your position and what is expected of you. You should also write down any questions about the job. In this way, you not only impress your boss with your own initiative, but can also adapt more quickly to your new workplace and your new tasks.
This is how you impress on your first day
You have everything prepared, slept well and put on your best outfit – now it's time to shine. This is a great way to impress everyone and have a fantastic first day at work.
12. Arrive early
As with interviews, showing up early on the first day shows your co-workers that they can expect you to be on time. Since you planned your trip to work and set an alarm the day before, this step shouldn't be difficult. Just plan to arrive earlier than normal in case an unexpected event occurs.
Remote job? You should also plan to register early so you can prepare for incoming e-mails or calls.
13. Introduce yourself to everyone
Being proactive and reaching out to colleagues to introduce yourself can make a great first impression. Now that you have some small talk topics planned, now is the time to put them into action. Remember to smile and give a firm handshake, and say a little about why you are so excited to work with them.
Remote job? Virtual handshakes are still possible! Get in touch with teammates, say hello, and let them know you're there when they need something.
14. Get to know your colleagues
If you are an extrovert this step will be easy for you. When you learn more about your co-workers, you can work well as a team and make your work more fun. Ask them about the best places to have lunch and invite them to eat with you.
Remote job? Video calling lunch together might be a bit of a hassle, but you can still get to know your co-workers by asking questions about where they work or what their favorite part about working from home is.
15. Take care and show interest
Nobody likes to talk to a wall so make sure you are paying attention and interested in what you are learning. On your first day, you will likely go through the onboarding documentation. So pay attention to any questions you have or even give tips on how something needs more clarity.
Remote job? When you have your camera turned on, show them that you are interested and paying attention.
16. Have a positive attitude
Don't let the nervousness get overwhelmed when you start a new job – try to have a positive attitude throughout the day. Show how lucky you are to be there and don't forget to say goodbye to everyone when it's time to go.
Things to do in your first week
Persistence is the be-all and end-all. Therefore, to have a successful career, making sure that the first impression you made on day one lasts throughout your time with the company is important. Here are some things you should accomplish in your first week:
17. Create a schedule
After your first day in your new job, you will likely start figuring out what your weekly tasks will be. Create a schedule that will help you manage your time and find your preferred method of keeping track of your to-dos. Learning how to balance work and personal life can be a healthy way to achieve your goals.
Remote job? Managing your time while working from home can be a little trickier with all the added distractions. Make this tip your priority and put anything that might distract your attention.
18. Offer help
Although most of the time you will be trained, do not hesitate to offer it to your colleagues. You probably won't have many tasks to complete on your first day. So offering help not only helps you learn the tasks faster, but also helps you to be present and proactive.
Remote job? You will likely be using many different tools online. If you have a colleague who is also starting the job and you have already mastered the use of a particular software, offer to help with its use as well.
19. Be available to your manager
Don't stop offering help only to your co-workers; Your manager is at your side and wants to hear from you too. Keeping your manager up to date or asking questions shows that you are interested in the position and that he can rely on you. Be sure to follow all of your manager's instructions, as active listening will help you build connections and trust.
Remote job? When you are separated from your manager, this can be difficult. Make sure you communicate and let them know if you have problems signing in or accessing a particular document.
20. Adhere to deadlines
Demonstrating compliance with deadlines is one of the most important tasks for anyone starting a new job. If you don't submit a project on time, you can get a bad rap and show that you are not reliable. If you're struggling to meet your project deadlines, speak to your manager and see how you can better manage your schedule. The timely implementation of your project not only contributes to the productivity of the company, but also to your productivity.
21. Ask more questions
Don't hesitate to ask lots of questions. Everyone knows that if you're new to a job, you probably don't know everything. Asking questions helps your job performance and shows that you are ready to learn.
The hiring process can be exhausting – lengthy interviews, salary research, and bonus negotiations can leave you feeling burned out. The last thing to worry about is your first day at work as planning and preparing for it can be overwhelming. But after you've learned our best tips, you can use our printable getting started checklist to calm your mind and help you get a good night's sleep before you impress everyone with your new job or see yourself our infographic below.
Sources: Healthline | Choose therapy | The decision laboratory | Science of Man | Oxford academics | Marriott Student Assessment | Walden University | MedizinNet | Oxford University | Qualified communication | Work ethic
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