First Day of Work

It’s not every day that you start a new job. In fact, if you’ve grown accustomed to first days you might want to rethink your career strategy. As nerve-racking as your first day will inevitably be, remember that you’re not expected to know anything yet. Sure, once you get to a certain level of your career you know the actions that your position will require. Marketers know how to market, accountants know how to crunch numbers and so on, but every company has different policies, different cultures and just plain different attitudes. So, with so much to learn in the first few weeks of your new job, how can you make an impact on day one?

Be Friendly

It’s easy to sit at your desk, get your benefits all set up and let the hiring manager come to you with people he or she would like to introduce you to. In a large company it is almost impossible to know who you will be working with and who you should get to know on day one, in a small company it’s quite a bit easier. No matter what size the company is, the important thing to remember is that everyone at the company is important to get to know. No matter which department they’re in you still work together in the respect that your common goals are to make your company the best that it can be and therefore make more money. It’s your first day, make a great first impression by saying hi to everyone rather than retreating to your desk and waiting for them to say hi to you.

Don’t Forget Your 30-Day Plan

They liked something about you in the interview. With culture fit being such a big deal these days, it’s likely that you met most of your team during the interview process. Also, in this competitive environment it’s unlikely that the job was just given to you, you had to spend hours prepping for multiple conversations. During that time, you both researched the company and thought about a good way to improve it. While the implementation process might not be practical from day one due to the aforementioned approval processes that you are unaware of at this point, but you can at least start framing the groundwork for it.

Dress for Success

No matter what the official company dress code is, on your first day business casual should be your dress code. Contrary to popular belief, your first interview was not anyone’s first impression of you. You’re not expected to be you during the interview process, rather a modified version of you. Interviewing is hard, but interviewing well is a different skillset than your job likely entails, so no one expects you to be in interview mode on day one, they expect the real you. Now that you are presenting yourself for your first impression, how do you want to look?

Open Your Mind

No matter what your impression is of the company on day one it is not the impression you will have of it on day 30. Your new company does not do things the way your last one did, they do what works for them. You might have great ideas and they might do things totally wrong, but day one is not the day to be pointing out flaws in their operations. Learn it, do it and then when you have a leg to stand on, if your ideas are better and after you learn the culture and hierarchy, take them to the right person and you will have a chance of actually implementing your ideas.

Be Positive

When you make the decision to leave a place that you’re familiar with and start a new work life, your entire life is turned upside down. Your first few days you’ll probably go through an array of emotions. No matter what your first few days are like, you’ll eventually fall into a routine and be just as happy as you were at your last job, but happier because you consciously made the decision to move on for a reason. If you’re new position is a stepping stone in your career, then it’s natural to feel overwhelmed or feel like you’re in over your head. Guess what. Everyone feels like that at some point. You were hired for a reason, be glad you’re where you are and know that you made the right decision. There’s no going back at this point anyways so you might as well be as positive as you can be.

You were hired because the people at your company were sure that you can make a positive impact. Ultimately, the hiring decision is a reflection on the hiring manager, he or she wants you to succeed as much as you do. You can start to make an impact on day one, but that impact won’t happen unless you have the right mentality and have a positive foundation that you started building the second you walked in the door.