A new job, new people, and a new environment.  All these new things can be overwhelming.  Be proactive, and let a positive first impression set the tone for the rest of your stay at the company.

The following tips can help you make the first day in a new job less stressful:

1. Dress professionally

Rather dress too smart than too casual – especially in the beginning.  Clothes affect how people are perceived and treated.

2. Prepare an elevator pitch

Prepare a 30-second explanation of who you are, where you were before, and why you applied for this position.  When you meet new people, smile, shake their hands, and introduce yourself. See, the elevator pitch

3. Make use of opportunities

Show up early, and read reports, information on noticeboards and company literature.  Prepare for meetings, and be willing to assist other colleagues. Have lunch with your colleagues, and learn who’s who at the company.  Take advantage of formal and informal after-hour activities.  Network with key people, both at the office and outside of the company.  Reach out and introduce yourself to others.  Offer a daily “hello” and “goodbye”.


4. Set goals

Set realistic goals for yourself, and try to achieve them.  Find a senior person to be your mentor, and spend more time with him/her.  Meet with your boss on a regular basis, and discuss your performance or concerns.

5. Take note

The first few days will consist of orientation and training.  Make sure you have a book and pen with you. Write down new terminology, rules and even the names of your colleagues.  Listen carefully, and absorb all the new information.  Now is not the time to have a strong opinion – rather listen and observe.  Do not ask too many questions, but feel free to ask for help, or if you do not understand something.

6. Be organised

Keep track of important dates/events, and meet deadlines.  Make sure you have a good attendance record, and do not call in sick during the first few weeks.  Do not bring your personal problems to the office, and do not make personal appointments during office hours.  Give your full support to the office team, and share recognition with them. Associate with the right crowd of employees, stay out of office politics, and refrain from gossiping.


7. Attitude

Have a positive attitude, and show your enthusiasm and work ethics.  Put your cellphone on silent, and do not take/make personal calls.  Show interest in your co-workers. Pay attention to your body language.  Show your appreciation to everyone who helps you to adapt, but be yourself – do not try too hard to impress other people.  Take initiative and ask for more responsibilities – be willing to learn.

Starting a new job is both challenging and exciting. Give yourself enough time to settle in, and do not worry if you do not have a perfect first day – you still have tomorrow to improve.

Uploaded: 03 March 2020
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