9 Top Tips For A Successful First Day In Your New Job


Whether you’re starting a new job virtually or in person, the first day is a daunting experi...

NES Fircroft

By NES Fircroft

Whether you’re starting a new job virtually or in person, the first day is a daunting experience for most. You’ll meet new people, learn a new company culture, establish your own workspace and find your bearings within a whole new environment.

Starting off on the right foot and making a good first impression will greatly help you ease into your new role in the weeks and months that follow. In this article, you will discover 9 top tips on how to have a great first day in your new job.

1. Don’t be late

First of all, make sure you have planned your journey ahead of time and know where you need to be. You might even want to try out the commute in advance to figure out what the conditions might be like during rush hour.

On the day, you should also leave yourself plenty of time to offset any potential inconveniences such as bad traffic or accidents on the road.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic might mean you have to start off working from home, this does not mean you should leave it until the last minute to be ready. Make sure that you have everything you need, such as documents or equipment, at hand and that any devices you are using are working properly. There is nothing worse than having to rush and appearing late and flustered on your first day.

Aim to be ready at your ‘work from home’ space or arrive at your new office, 15 minutes early so you start your first day feeling as relaxed as possible.

2. First impressions count

According to a paper by Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov for Psychological Science, it takes the brain about 100 milliseconds to form a first impression of someone.

When interviewing for a job, first impressions are crucial and can determine whether you get the job or not. Even If you made a good impression on the hiring manager and you’re lucky enough to receive an offer, you’ll still have plenty of people to make a good impression on when it comes to your first day.

When you arrive and meet your new colleagues for the first time, make sure to put on your best smile and come across as friendly and enthusiastic as possible.

There are three different channels for communication:

  • Visual – Facial expressions and body language

  • Verbal – What you say

  • Vocal – How you say it

Visual language has most impact on the first impression someone will form of you. Even if you are unable to meet your new colleagues in person and have to do so virtually, good visual language is still vital. Nevertheless, make sure you have all three communication channels in the back of your mind. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and smile.

You’ll probably work with these people for a while so making a good first impression will make any ensuing conversations a lot smoother and comfortable.

3. Think about what you will wear on your first day

​Whether working in an office, on site, or at home, what you wear to work is important. Make sure you have your outfit planned ahead of your first day so that you don’t have to rush to get everything ready on the day.

Does your work require formal wear, or can it be more casual? Is there any industry-specific dress code you’ll have to follow? If specific industry clothing is required, will your new employer provide it, or do you need to procure it yourself?

It’s important to have answers to these questions before starting your new job so that you are not caught off guard and don’t show up under/overdressed.

4. Brush up on necessary knowledge and skills for your new job

Your new role might involve using specialised software or instruments. Or you might need to have a good understanding of certain industry standards and regulations.

Before starting your new job, make sure you have brushed up on your knowledge of the different software, instruments, standards and regulations you’ll encounter as part of your everyday tasks.

Whether that be tools such as Autodesk Product Design Suite, MATLAB, MechDesigner, or any other engineering software, make sure you are at ease with using the necessary ones for your job.

This will make it easier for you to hit the ground running and alleviate some of the stresses of starting a new position. It’ll also reassure your employer that you know what you’re doing and able to perform your duties.

5. Remember names

​Your first day at work will no doubt be a whirlwind of information and you might find it hard to memorise everything all at once. However, do make an effort to remember your colleagues’ names.

There is nothing more awkward than calling someone by the wrong name or having to ask them to repeat it several times. Conversely, it always feels nice when someone remembers your name first time and will certainly make a good impression.

6. Socialise with colleagues

​If you get an offer to join colleagues for lunch, accept it! You might be surprised at how much you can learn from a more casual conversation that isn’t strictly confined to work matters.

If you’re working from home and your team has a virtual lunch, be sure to attend.

Making connections and getting to know your colleagues beyond what is necessary to perform your role will make your introduction into the company a whole lot easier - You’ll learn more about how the office works and who’s who within the company in an informal setting.

7. Do your research

​Make sure you have a good understanding of the company and your own job remit before starting in your new position. Although there are plenty of things you’ll only be able to learn once you’ve started, doing some prior research will ensure you don’t come across as ignorant or uninterested.

You’ll probably have received introduction and onboarding documents prior to your start date, so read through these carefully so you are prepared to talk about yourself and what you’ll be doing if anyone asks.

8. Ask questions

​It’s always important to ask questions when starting a new job. It demonstrates enthusiasm and interest and shows that you are keen to learn and do a good job. Your colleagues will be willing to help.

Ask your colleagues about their roles, enquire about how the office functions and who oversees what. Not only will this make people warm to you more quickly, you’ll also know who you need to refer to if you ever need any help and it could avoid you making unnecessary mistakes.

Here are some good questions to ask on your first day:

  • How often do you require updates on my work?

  • Which tasks should I prioritise?

  • Who should I refer to for [insert department] queries?

  • How did your first day in [company name] go?

​9. Relax

​Most important of all, but probably also the hardest advice to follow: relax. Don’t forget that every person you talk to on your first day in your new job has been in the same position as you at some point or another.

Your first day at work should be an exciting event. You get to meet new people and discover new things, so try to make the most of it. By the end of the day, you’ll hopefully feel enthusiastic about this new chapter in your life, if a bit tired by the information overload.

You might find your first few weeks and months to be tiring as you adjust to your new role and things might not come as easily straight from the start. However, you will soon be able to find a work-life balance as you ease into your new job.

Career support from NES

NES Fircroft has been supporting engineers, candidates and technical clients across many different industries throughout the past 50 years. If you’re looking to have your next first day at a new job, take a look at our latest job opportunities now.

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