You perfected your resume, spent countless hours job searching, survived the grueling interview process and ultimately received and accepted the offer. Admit it. You’re flying high on the emotions of acquiring a new title, perhaps gaining a pay raise or, better yet, getting into that one company that everyone wants to work for. So, that’s it. The nerves have calmed, a win was achieved and all is right with the world. Or, is it? Not really. Your first day on the job can be just as important, if not more important than the interviews you endured. Most think that failure isn’t possible; that it’s all smooth sailing from this point forward but that necessarily isn’t the case. You can bomb your first day on the job just as easily as blowing the interview. Here are five helpful tips to ensure nothing but success on your first day:
1. Arrive early: The one thing that you don’t want to do on your first day of your new job is to be the last one to show up. Research the commute, consider rush hour timing, and plan your route ahead. And, always be prepared for the worst. It’s better to arrive a half hour early and use the extra time to gather yourself and your thoughts versus flying through the doors disheveled and tardy.
2. Know your lines: The first day on the job almost always consists of meeting several fellow employees. It won’t hurt to have a 30 second introduction prepped and ready for repeat delivery. Be sure to identify yourself, your position within the company and, if the conversation goes further, a brief sampling of your professional history.
3. Refrain from shyness: Make it a point to reach out to others. Don’t be hesitant or afraid to be the first to introduce yourself. Extending an arm for a handshake is hardly ever declined.
4. Be accepting: If lunch is offered, by all means, accept. If a compliment is given, be grateful and return the gesture. Oftentimes, we find ourselves declining a meal out or hesitant to welcome praise simply for fear of being a burden. Your company wants to impress you as much as you want to impress them. Graciously take all that is bestowed.
5. Watch and learn: Take notice of your surroundings; the people, the culture, the intellect, the dialog. This will all play a huge factor in the way you eventually compose yourself and interact with your colleagues in the future.
Ultimately, your first day on the job is all about you. How you act, react and carry yourself will serve as a roadmap toward future successes or failures. Remember that it was your past that got you to where you are today, but it’s what you accomplish and execute from this day forward that will serve as your overall outlook for continued growth and achievement.