Your first day on the job: do’s and don’ts

Comment réussir sa première journée de travail ?

Congratulations! You’ve just landed a job. However, what you feel now might be similar to what you used to feel as a kid before going back to school: you’re dreading your first day of work in your new office. You worry you’ll have to win the sympathy of your colleagues, deal with new tasks and satisfy your boss. Pay close attention to the details and everything will go smoothly.

You won’t be granted a second chance to make a good first impression so maximize your chances and start preparing for it the day before. In our dear consumer society, appearance is important; pay attention to it and pick an appropriate outfit: neutral, comfy, but not too casual for your position. For you ladies, avoid cleavages, off shoulders tops, miniskirts and heels that are too high. The world of work can be fierce and it is easy to be labelled.

Remember the day you got interviewed: how were the employees dressed? If everyone was wearing a suit, do not appear wearing jeans and sports shoes. You would be out of place. This does not mean you should erase your personality, but try to strike a balance.

Be an exemplary employee and plan what you’re going to bring in your bag. Carry out paper and pens to take notes, your diary, a USB stick, a snack (you want to avoid cravings), and an umbrella so as to avoid showing up soaking wet.

Beyond appearance, attitude is also important; you should talk and act in a professional way, and always be cheerful. Show interest in your job and the company. Beforehand, gather as much information as possible so as not to be caught unprepared when you’re having a conversation. Do not forget to think about how you will introduce yourself.

Set your alarm clock and go to sleep without worrying too much about this first day of work or you might have trouble falling asleep.

Ready and on time, you’re about to take your first steps in your new company. Immerse yourself in the company’s culture and follow it. You will notice from the very beginning whether the atmosphere is rather formal or informal, about the schedules, the breaks, …

Talking about breaks, you might dread lunch time for the day that awaits you. You fear you’ll have to eat alone or you simply do not know your colleagues’ habits yet. Pluck up courage and ask a few colleagues to join you, with a smile. This way, you may get to know new people. During lunch break, the atmosphere is generally more relaxed which will allow you to talk about other things, not work related. Give priority to general topics and do not try to penetrate the “private sphere” of your colleagues, it’s too soon. As for yourself, do not reveal too many details to the first person passing by and do not forget to weigh your words. Otherwise you may regret later to have poured out to the wrong people.

Finally, do not forget the reason why you’re there: to work. As for the tasks and activities, make sure you have understood what is expected from you. This is the perfect day to make a few adjustments.

In any case, you won’t be up to your ear with work from the very beginning so take this opportunity to offer your help to your new colleagues and do not hesitate to ask for work. It will show them that you are motivated and that you’re a reliable person.

It may reassure you to know that the first day is never easy for anyone and it’s only a difficult time to get through. You will soon get your feet wet, and remember that there is a first time for everything, so start now. And cheer up! Everything will go well.

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