First Day of Work

When you’re a kid, you have the first day of school to contend with. When it comes time to trying your hand at “adulting,” you have to meander your way through the first day of work. Your first day at a new job can be almost as anxiety-provoking as a blind date set up by your mom. It can be especially daunting if you’re obsessed with making a good impression. That’s why you should do what I do on all of my dates with my mom’s best friend’s daughter’s boyfriend’s brother—that is, you should go in as if you have nothing to lose.

Striving for success is a recipe for certain failure. Making failure your goal in the first place is not only a big time-saver but also a great way to alleviate your first-day-of-work jitters. So, without further ado, here are 14 ways to make a bad impression on your first day of work. You’re welcome.

  1. Start by forgetting to set your alarm the night before. There’s no start quite like a late start.
  2. Dress inappropriately. Everyone knows that personal style is more important than social conformity, and this rings especially true when you’re trying to make a bad impression on your first day of work. Yoga pants, anyone?
  3. Don’t just show up a bit late; commit to your tardiness. After all, you’ve already had a slow start—why stress yourself out by rushing now?
  4. Once you finally arrive at work, make an unfavorable impression on your coworkers by neglecting to introduce yourself to any of them. Ignore everyone who tries to make your acquaintance, or at most, brush them off awkwardly.
  5. Don’t ask any questions. Instead, when faced with an unknown, take your best guess and hope for the best.
  6. To continue your antisocial behavior, you should really consider eating lunch in the bathroom. Sure, Sally from the next cubicle invited you to join her in the break room, but you certainly don’t want her to think that you’re capable of normal social interaction.
  7. Demonstrate almost immediately how you may have slightly fudged the details of your resume to get the job. (Sure, you can type 70 words per minute, but only if “70 words per minute” is actually code for “40 words on a good day,” and only then after two or three lattes.)
  8. Show off your impressive multitasking abilities in the best way you know how: by texting throughout the entire day, of course. Your coworkers will be totally impressed with how you’ve managed to brush off their attempts at friendliness while clearly communicating with someone else throughout your entire first day of work.
  9. Take lots of breaks. There’s no need to be too much of a keener when you’re trying to make a bad impression. A work-to-break ratio of 1:4 should suffice.
  10. If you get bored of being antisocial and want to take a different route to making a terrible impression, mix things up by making off-color jokes by the watercooler.
  11. Don’t just swear like a sailor—swear like a drunken sailor who’s forgotten his manners.
  12. When your efforts (or lack thereof) start making you sleepy, go ahead and put your head down on your desk for a while. No one will begrudge you a short nap on your first day of work. Well, they will, but that’s the whole point, right?
  13. Ask your co-worker when payday is. Then ask your HR representative, just to be sure. Then, for good measure, ask your boss. Everyone knows that important information should be verified at least three times by three separate (but equally knowledgeable) parties.
  14. Leave early for an appointment or some other previous engagement, but be sure to reassure your boss that this kind of thing doesn’t happen often.

There you have it. Just follow these 14 tips and you’ll be sure to make a terrible impression on your first day of work before it’s time for afternoon break. Once you’ve accomplished your goal and have subsequently lost your new job, you’ll be ready to return to the drawing board and revamp that old resume.

If you’re back to square one, or if you’re one of those rare enigmas who are actually looking for a job to keep, check out the resume resources at With so many dos and don’ts to consider, you’ll gain all the know-how to either attain or lose any job you’d like. It’s good to have options.

Image source: Wavebreak Media Ltd./