4 Tips for the Perfect First Day on the Job

first-day-of-work-tipsSo, you’re starting a new job soon — congrats! Whether you are about to begin a temporary/contract position, an internship, or a full-time role, the first day of your new job is always going to give you some degree of nerves, right?

As daunting as “Day One” can be for a new employee, it can often be one of the most important days for you moving forward, if things run smoothly.

Here’s your (quick) guide on having the perfect first day at your new job!

1) Be Extra Prepared

One of the worst things you can do when starting a new job is to show up for your first day late or unprepared — that’s a quick way to set the wrong expectations. Personally, I like to recommend people prepare for their first day of work just like they did for their first day of school growing up: Use the night before to set out clothes, pack your lunch, pack a notebook and pen, etc.

In addition to having all of the basics ready to roll for the morning, also check out Google Maps and plug-in your new employer’s address and click “Get Directions.” You can then set the arrive/depart times and see what traffic is going to look like for your new commute.

Or, if you are using public transportation for your commute, make sure you determine which train/bus you’ll need to be at, and at what time, in order to show up 10-15min early.

This is a no-brainer for a first day of work tip, but it is much better to be over-prepared than to show up late.

2) Take Notes & Ask Questions

In most cases, your first day of work is full of orientation information, meeting new people, and learning your tasks. If you’re starting an office job, consider carrying a notebook with you throughout your first day, noting down important information, names of people you meet, and any questions you have along the way. This is a great way to stay organized and document everything, helping you remember names and important do’s and don’ts throughout the day.

As far as questions go, we always recommend asking anything that you need to, but be smart about it. For example, if you’re being given a tour or a demonstration of something and a question pops up, feel free to ask it. If you are sitting in on a meeting or phone call and you have a question about process, just take note of it and ask it later.

It’s always a good idea to leave your first day having asked all of your questions, so don’t be afraid to seek clarification when you need it.

3) Make a To-Do List

Depending on your specific job, your new employer may already use some type of project management tool, like Trello or Basecamp; if that’s the case, you can use those platforms to make your to-do list. If there is not tool in place, just grab some pen and paper and start making a list of everything you need to do during your first week. Maybe that list is short and sweet and focused on setting up your email and calendar applications — or, maybe it’s a bit more detailed and focused on the specific tasks you are to accomplish ASAP.

If you are a pen-and-paper kind of thinker, bring some sticky notes and a pen with you on your first day to keep track of important to-do’s.

4) Be Excited

The best thing that you can do on the first day of your new job is to walk in the door enthusiastic and cheerful. Do your best to go out of way to smile at your new coworkers, introduce yourself, and let your manager know how excited you are to get to work. First impressions are often key for your role at a new company, so really commit yourself to starting things off on a positive note!

Next Steps

If you liked this post, check out some of our other helpful blogs and resources below! Or, you can get in touch with our Milwaukee recruiters here.