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Six things everyone should do on their first day

Transitioning from the world of  education to employment is not always easy.

Employers often have different expectations of you than lecturers and tutors. When embarking on your chosen career – something that you have perhaps studied for over the course of many years – it is important to make a great first impression. Day one of a new job can be crucial in achieving this. Of course, you may have already been able to create something of a good impression during the interview stage of your job application. However, the first day of a job is different. You are going to be meeting more people, some of whom will be individuals that you want to build longer term professional relationships with. Let's look at the essential things you need to do so that things get going on the right footing.

Be Punctual

Creating a good first impression takes care on your part. You can build on a good start over the coming weeks, but creating a bad initial impression can take months, if not years, to recover from. Therefore, make sure you get to your place of work in good time. You may need to allow for unexpected delays on your commute or extra time to get prepared before leaving for work. Even if you arrive a little early, it is better than turning up late on day one.

Use Body Language

Communication is the key to being a hit on day one. This includes verbal and written communications, of course. Moreover, it should also include how you communicate with your body. This means making eye contact when talking to people or listening to what they have to say. When introduced, put your hand out for a handshake with confidence. In addition, simply smiling when you first make contact with someone in your place of employment can be very helpful.

Try to Stay Calm

One of the hardest things you may have to deal with during your first day at work is any nervousness that you feel. Remember that being a little anxious is perfectly natural and your new colleagues are likely to be forgiving for any minor errors or gaps in your knowledge. Remain calm by breathing deeply and trying not to rush things. Think about your qualifications and CV that got you the job in the first place and remember that you have been chosen as the right person for the job.

Ask Questions

Being demanding can be a problem during your first day at work, but this does not include asking questions about how you can do your job. You can't be expected to know everything, so feel free to ask advice of colleagues and turn to your manager if you get stuck on something. However, it is important not to ask the same questions twice, so make sure that you note down any answers that you receive so that you can refer to them at a later date.

Make Contacts

By talking to as many people as possible during your initial time in a job, you will find that it stands you in great stead down the line. Maybe your manager will introduce you to various people or set up an induction process where you will get to meet team members. These formal introductions are useful, but also grab informal moments to talk to other professionals, perhaps in a break area or in the office kitchen.

Dress Appropriately

Being suitably attired is essential for the first day of work if you want to make a winning first impression. Of course, what is appropriate clothing will depend on the sort of job you are doing and the corporate culture at your place of work. Remember that on day one, you may be heading out of the office to see project work or visit satellite bases of operations, therefore, your choice of footwear should be sensible. If in doubt, dress smartly in normal office attire until you get used to the dress code that is in place.