A new job – your first day – Part 2

Setting off

On the morning of your first day, make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get ready (gather your thoughts, go to the lavatory, check your appearance in the mirror, double-check your appearance in the mirror, etc.)  And make sure you know where you’re going!

It may seem obvious but arriving late on your first day will reflect very badly on you indeed – and it happens all too often.  You’re most likely going to the same place you went for your interview but that could easily have been a month or two ago and your memory might be hazy.  You need to check precisely where it is that you are expected to go and then make doubly sure that you know exactly how to get there – and on time.

Into the spotlight

You are literally on show from the moment you arrive at your new employer’s premises – so try not to look like you’ve just arrived at the dentist for some root canal treatment!

Your first day is a lot like one big interview.  Yes, you’ve already got the job but people will nonetheless be keeping a very close eye on you until you’ve settled in a bit.  And you may well have an initial trial period to complete before you can really start to feel secure in your new job.  There’s undeniably a lot at stake but it’s definitely no cause for panic.

Depending on the size and type of the organisation, you may have to present yourself to reception on the morning of your first day – or your new boss might be there to greet you personally.  If the first person you see is the receptionist then do bear in mind that it’s always worth being as charming as possible with receptionists; they can have a surprising amount of influence in an organisation, principally because they know absolutely everyone.  When your new boss does turn up, try to look happy to see them and shake hands firmly – but not to the extent that they end up in plaster!  Seriously, shake someone’s hand too firmly and they might think you’re trying just a little bit too hard.  And if you deliver a weak handshake people often think that implies a lack of character.

Whether you feel confident or not, make sure you look it.  You might feel like you’re back to your first day at school – a little lost.  But be aware that confident people inspire confidence in others – if you appear confident that you are able to do the job, everyone around you is likely to be more inclined to believe that you can.  It’s human nature.

Whilst confidence is critical, it is naturally important not to go to the other extreme and appear over-confident or arrogant.  That won’t go down well at all with your new workmates.  Strike a happy balance.