Your first day at work can be downright intimidating. You may not know any of your coworkers, or perhaps you have changed industries and are feeling uncertain about how you’ll meet the demands of your new position. Being concerned is perfectly normal, but this feeling doesn’t have to define your first day. The following are a few pieces of advice to help guide you through the first day.
Be Friendly and Professional
Remember, a smile goes a long way. Be genuine about your excitement, and other people will be happy to help you out as you navigate this next career step. Don’t forget to pay attention to your new coworkers’ social cues. By mimicking their body language and mannerisms, they will feel comfortable speaking with you. Make sure that you greet people with a warm smile and introduce yourself, even if they don’t approach you. Some people may be feeling more shy than you are, so don’t be afraid to say a quick hello.
First impressions matter, and what you wear is an important part of your first impression. It’s okay to overdress a little on the first day. Your coworkers and managers want to see that you’re serious about your new job. Once you begin working somewhere, you begin representing the company. Your team is sure to be impressed by how seriously you take your new duties. After a few days you’ll be able to a better idea of what other people wear and adjust your wardrobe accordingly.
Even if you’re feeling uncertain, approach your day with confidence. Remember, there is some truth to the phrase “fake it until you make it.” Even if you have to force a feeling of confidence, soon it will feel natural. Introduce yourself with confidence to your new coworkers. Tell people you’re looking forward to working with them. Take the initiative to ask questions and be quick to offer a helping hand.
Listen to Others
On the first day, make sure you listen to others as much as possible. Take notes when you’re undergoing orientation and don’t forget to follow up on anything that isn’t clear. It’s okay to focus more on understanding your role on the first day. There’s no shame in asking questions in order to get up to speed.
Everyone who worked at your company has had a first day. You don’t need to be perfect. Instead, relax, be confident, and focus on creating a positive first impression.