Posted on 10/12/2015 by Simon Bruce
Your first day at a new company will always be a little scary, new people, new responsibilities, new systems, even the new route you take to work will get you stressed. So what do you do to make sure that day one goes smoothly and what should you expect?
Firstly some basic tips;
- Well, hopefully when you arrive, someone from your new team or the manager or maybe HR will be there to show you around, introduce you to people and get you set up at your desk.
- You will be a little nervous when you meet your new team and obviously you don’t want to give them a bad impression. So just in case, I suggest you do the following:-
- Switch your mobile phone to silent mode. Some companies have this as a policy, so you don’t want to offend anyone.
- Bring in some snacks for the group. This may be a little over the top, but most people like chocolate. BTW, I don’t:)
- Dress professionally (a bit more professionally than you saw the interviewers dress). Regardless of the dress code in the company, it is better to overdress than under dress when you first go to a new company.
In larger organisations, the new starter training program should be in place and your on boarding will be very smooth (hopefully). Smaller organizations will be different. Usually they won’t have a person dedicated to training or onboarding, so it will be up to your new manager to get you up to speed. Be patient with them as they also have their job to do. Don’t expect them to spend all their time with you. Try to be proactive in asking for advice and if you have to re-read or practice something more than once, because no one is able to teach you something new, that it is much better than just doing nothing.
I recommend that you ask your manager for permission to spend 30 minutes with each of your new team members, one on one, to ask them about their responsibilities, how your new job works with them and what can you do to make sure the team moves smoothly.
My recommendations for the first day, as I expect you will feel a bit stressed, is to be a little timid and don’t give your opinion. There was a great book called “Shut Up and Listen”. This was a sales book, but the title also applies to your first day at the new job. You don’t know what you are doing, so don’t give your opinion.
As the new person, you are going to standout. People are going to analyse your every move and make judgements that could be career lasting. I remember one guy, who joined a company where I used to work and from day one nearly everyone thought he was just wrong for the business. He came in very casually, assumed he knew everything and instantly tried to tell people what to do and what he “believed was right”. He was actually a highly qualified person, but completely misjudged the culture of the organization and was never able to fit in from that first day. First impressions last, make sure your day one is a good one.