That First Day of Work – Exciting but Scary

Congratulations! You made it through the stressful interview process, background checks, and other pre-employment challenges. Now, you are preparing to walk through the doors of your new employer for your first day on the job. So, what now? What can you do on your first day of work to make sure that you start off on the right foot with your co-workers and boss, and to make sure that you become productive as quickly as possible? More importantly, what can you do to make sure that you know how to navigate the unwritten rules of your new organization?

  1. Be courteous and cordial with your new co-workers, but avoid being too emotionally or socially available.
This may seem a bit cold, but the truth is, until you become more familiar with your co-workers and office politics, it is best to play things close to the vest. You just don't know what you might be dealing with. For example, it might be tempting to accept an invitation to join a coffee klatch of fun loving women. However, if you find out later that the women in that social group are largely viewed as gossipy and unprofessional by their colleagues, you'll probably be glad that you kept your distance. A new colleague you do not yet know may actually be that “snake in the grass” who undermines everyone else in his attempts to get ahead.
  1. Focus on memorizing policies and procedures.
Believe it or not, in many cases these things are in place to keep things running smoothly. Besides, even if the procedures are outdated or more complicated than useful, your first day on the job is not the time to start complaining about such things. Make an effort to understand how things work so that your new coworkers aren't forced to clean up after you.
  1. Learn the names of your coworkers, and address them by those names each time you interact with them.
There is no way to emphasize this too much. Learn names as quickly as you possibly can, and then enforce that knowledge by using those names. The friendliest hey or hello on the elevator doesn't hold a candle to a simple, “Hi, (first name).” Using a person's first name is key in developing a positive relationship with them.
  1. Set up your email address and voice mail
On your first day of work, you should expect to be the focus of many welcoming and informative emails and phone messages. Make sure that everything has been set up correctly so that you can read and respond to these when you have time.
  1. Don't wait for an invitation to become productive.
Once you have finished up with your tour of the facility, paper work, introductions, etc., it can be tempting to ride out the rest of your day. If you do go this route, odds are great that nobody will notice or care. Unfortunately, if someone does notice, the attention won't be positive. On the other hand, if you do proactively seek out a project to work on or a person to help, you will be noticed and in a good way.
About the author:  Julie Ellis is working as the writer for, finds her inspiration in the educational assistance to gifted students. Master's degree in Journalism allows her to follow her vocation and help English-speaking students around the world.
You can find her on Twitter - @premieressaynet.

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