You’re starting a new job. Your first day of work is imminent.
It’s all very exciting because you want to do well on your first day, first week and first month.
And if you’re like most recruits, perhaps you’re a little nervous. You want to please, making sure you and your boss are off to a great start.
You want to know what to do on your first day at work.
Let me help you here. I’ve employed more than 1,400 people since August 2000 so I know what works for a boss.
The first tip may shock you. When starting a new job, moderate your enthusiasm. I understand. You’re excited. You’re a fresh breeze, a newly energised force for good. You’re going to change the world. You’ve got a lot to offer. Bosses know this. That’s why we awarded you the job and we want to harness that amazing energy and verve. That’s valuable to us. But nothing’s more deflating to a boss than to witness your enthusiasm wane. We are human too. All energy and pizzazz on the first day of work, half on day two and nothing by week’s end is not what we’re after. We want sustained energy. So please moderate your enthusiasm when starting a new job and then sustain it.
On Genuine Engagement
One of the biggest tips for your first day of work is to engage. When watching you go through your induction, orientation or training process, bosses look to see if you’re deeply engaged. Are you listening and truly absorbing, or are you distracted by a text message. Much effort has gone into preparing induction training. So if you don’t respect that by truly listening and engaging, this will be instantly noticed and your start in a new job will be impaired.
On Your Last Company
The best first day at work advice is please avoid words to the effect, “Back at my last company, we did it this way.” Yes, we value competitive intelligence. Yes, we want our company transformed by taking the best comparable companies have to offer. We want to improve and grow and be more competitive. However, for whatever reason, you no longer work at your last company. We are it now. And this is your first day of work with us so it is not really helpful to compare us unfavourably with your last employer. You are in a different company to your last one. On day one, it’s best just to keep your new found discoveries to yourself. We know the differences more than you’ll ever realise. And what we want from you is methodical evolution, not disruptive or disheartening revolution.
When starting a new job, please show an interest in the team. No-one
operates in a silo. If I hear you ask a team member, “So, what do you do here?”, it's music to my ears. It means you’ll understand the company eco-system and integrate faster. We want you to integrate as quickly as possible. Your productivity and the company's health depends on it.
I once had an employee starting a new job do something bold and a little daring.
It was her first day of work and she walked straight up to me saying, “I’m here. What can I do right now to make life easier for you?” I felt really good about that recruitment decision. Most employers would too. You see. Here's a secret. Employees can show that entrepreneurial trait of serving others too. If we hear the sweet sound of initiative and self-reliance in the process, it's symphonic!
If you really want to know what to do on your first day at work, here’s the summary:
- Moderate your enthusiasm so it’s sustained. We want you for the long-term;
- Truly engage. When starting a new job, respect
the induction, orientation and training processes. Listen;
- On your first day of work, avoid comparisons with your last company. We know your last company and its differences;
- Ask questions about other team members’ roles. You’ll integrate faster;
- Approach your boss from the perspective of service. Offer to be of use immediately.
Congratulations again of starting a new job. Your first day
of work, first week and first month will be exciting.
I wish you well.