The first day at a new job can be awkward, overwhelming, or both. Not only do you have to look sharp AND jump into a brand new work culture, but you also want to come across as your best self (especially since being mislabeled the mean girl of the office can have some pretty nasty consequences for your coworkers’ health). So in order to ease your already stressed-out mind, we’ve asked a handful of professionals to share their top tips to slay your exciting first day. Let’s get girlbossing!
1. Start prepping your body and mind at LEAST two days before your first day. Setting yourself up for success is critical to nailing your first day. But as much as you want to get a full nine hours the night before the big day, nerves (and excitement!) can get in the way. “You might not be able to sleep well the night before your first day, so get as much rest as you can 48 hours before your first day so you’re refreshed and ready to go,” advises author of Interning 101 Emily White.
2. Don’t be afraid to stalk your new coworkers before you meet them. While you don’t need to go as far as finding out their relationship status on Facebook, studying the people in your company before you meet them all in person is a great way to get a basic understanding of what you’re walking into, notes life coach and professional speaker Amber Slaughter. Check out their company bios and Twitter profiles to feel out their personalities and interests.
3. Know your commuting route. This may sound obvious, but knowing the exact route you’re going to take to get to the office is a biggie. “Plan a backup route in case your main route is blocked or slow moving for some reason,” suggests founder and CEO of Weberous Rafael Romis. “Also, know the best number to call if you suspect you’re going to be late.” You probably did this in order to make a great first impression when you interviewed, so you got this.
4. Splurge and don’t bring a lunch from home. Even if you’re a diehard meal prepper, try skipping the bagged lunch in lieu of joining your new work gang out of the office, notes Vettery‘s director of people Kenn Peters. “In the case that everyone brought their own lunch, you can still strike up a conversation by asking about recommendations for lunch spots nearby.”
5. Ask questions to show you get it. Your first day at the office will definitely be an information-overload, but career coach Kamara Toffolo advises to ask as many questions as possible… without being too overbearing, that is. “As you’re being trained or shown around, you should be asking countless questions to your new colleagues to get to know them, the culture, and the workplace better.” Keep a little notebook handy for the key info you don’t want to ask people to repeat later.
6. Dress to impress… but not to over-impress. Finding the perfect first-day outfit is tricky. “Make sure you know what the company’s office culture is like,” notes The Penny Hoarder engagement specialist Kelly Anne Smith. “A suit and tie may start you off on the wrong foot at a startup, while jeans and a t-shirt may throw an entire agency into disarray on your first day.” Make sure to look around during your initial interview for clues or try looking up what people are wearing in their professional bios to get a good indication of your perfect first day OOTD.
7. Befriend your office manager and IT team. While you should definitely try to befriend EVERYBODY, make a special effort to get to know your office manager and IT peeps. “You’ll need lots of support from these special people, so make sure that you respect them and spend time getting to know them,” says director of employee success at Reflektive Rachel Ernst.
8. Make notes to avoid forgetting people’s names. One of the most embarrassing parts of starting a new job is having to constantly ask people what their name is. Chief Marketing Officer at Reveal Group Charley McGlinchey suggests taking avid notes to avoid the awkwardness. “Take a note on who they are, what they do, and anything to help you remember them and connect the dots later,” such as: Annie, hiring manager, amazing red glasses!
9. Remember that they hired you for a reason. The worst thing you can do on your first day is pretend to be someone else. Other than your killer profesh accomplishments, “They hired you because they liked who you were in the interview,” says founder and CEO at InnovatorsBox Monica Kang. “So be yourself!” As corny as it may sound, it’s legit important to making a good impression.
Do you have any tips for surviving your first day at a new job? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)