The first day at a new job is often the most critical part in your quest for a stable career. Aim to create a good first impression but don’t take it too far. Trying ‘too hard’ to please your boss and prove that you deserve the position can easily go the other way. Don’t go overboard and become ‘overweening’ – nobody wants that!
Keep these 5 skills in mind on your first day at your new job to avoid potential pitfalls of first-day jitters:
1. Stay focused
Being in a new environment can lead to confusion. Since everything around you is new, trying to absorb all the details and instructions required in your new workplace can be overwhelming. Don’t try to attend to everything. Prioritise the important parts and avoid trying to get your head around too much information if you don’t want to mess up during your first day. Stay focused and try to relax your mind. Being clear-headed is a must if you want to think properly.
2. Clear your mind
Do not overthink. Remove all the worries and insecurities that you have. They will never help you come out on top during your first day. A preoccupied mind will hinder you from staying focused on your goal.
3. Be attentive
Always be ready for instructions. Since it is your first day, expect a lot of directions and commands but don’t let things overwhelm you. With time, there will come a day when you are able to pre-empt many tasks before your boss even mentions them. However, today is not that day.
4. Don’t pretend that you know everything
This is a very important thing to remember. Wanting to impress your boss doesn’t mean you have to know everything. You were hired for the expertise that you specified in your resume and during the recruitment process. Pretending that you can do everything will get you in all sorts of trouble. Just focus on your skills and how you can use them to be an effective employee. Nobody likes a know-it-all!
5. Be honest
It can be very difficult to be honest during your first day at a new job for the fear of disappointing your boss. But you will be ineffective if you don’t speak up from the start. Don’t be hesitant to tell your boss if you need clarification or certain instructions repeated.
Everybody wants to have a great first day – after all, you only get one shot at making a first impression. Just keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if your first day on the job isn’t without incident. Be yourself and iron out any issues early on (when your colleagues are more patient and understanding) because you are new and not expected to know it all in your first 24 hours.
Spend your first day at your new job learning the daily duties required to complete your work successfully. Aside from that, the best way you can spend your time is developing collaborative and co-operative workplace relationships with your peers. Your colleagues and your boss are your team. Find where you fit in, make their jobs easier where you can and be an asset to the workplace. Doing those things will impress your Boss much more than trying ‘too hard’ at all the wrong things.