Your first day in a new job

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:24

Mentoring on a new job

Typically, your first few days in a new job will consist of you going through the employers’ onboarding process. You’ll be introduced to your new co-workers and taught about the tasks you’ll be responsible for. If you’re starting a graduate programme, there might be induction events and training sessions organised for the entire graduate cohort. Here’s how you can make the most of your first day at work.

How should I prepare?

Here are some tips to help you feel more relaxed and confident on the day:

  1. Pack your bag and lay out your clothes the night before, it’ll mean one less thing to worry about in the morning.
  2. Reread the job description and any notes you took during the recruitment process to refresh your memory of what the job involves.
  3. Familiarise yourself with your route to the office and account for rush hour traffic when planning your commute.
  4. Look up the food options available nearby and consider whether you’ll need to bring in a packed lunch.
  5. Get an early night to be well rested and alert

Make sure to resolve any questions you have before the first day with your line manager or HR contact. Your new line manager might check in to see how you are doing and offer to answer your questions, but if not, you can get in touch with them.

What do I wear to the office on my first day?

If you are not given a dress code, you can ask your contact for what people normally wear to the office. If in doubt, it’s better to dress a bit more formally and then adjust your wardrobe as you settle in. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, you may be given a tour of the workplace on your first day.

When should I arrive for my first day at work?

Don’t be late on your first day at work as this will not make a good impression. Set an alarm for the morning and leave enough time to get ready and travel to work. Account for unexpected delays such as your bus being late. Save the contact number you have been given so that you can contact your employer if you are delayed by factors beyond your control.

Avoid arriving too early as your co-workers might still be finalising your onboarding process. Aim to be there around five to ten minutes early. Your start time for your first day may be later than when you would normally be expected to turn up, so be sure to confirm the start time for your first day.

What will my first day at work look like?

If you are joining the graduate programme of a large company, your onboarding process is likely to be lengthy and well structured. However, regardless of the size of the company you’re joining, your first day will likely involve:

  • An introduction to the equipment and the software you’ll be using on a daily basis. This might include help setting up the technology you need to work from home, such as a VPN connection to access the company’s computer network.
  • A tour of the office site including the kitchen and social spaces around the office.
  • Introduction to your new colleagues, in particular the members of your team.
  • An introductory meeting with your manager and a catch-up at the end of the day.

What should I find out on my first day?

In general, it’s best to avoid assuming anything. If in doubt, ask. During your first week, get a sense of:

  • The length of your break and if there’s flexibility with what time you can take it
  • Who you need to contact if you are unwell or cannot come into work for another reason
  • The preferred communication method of your colleagues, such as email, MS Teams, Slack or face-to-face
  • Whether your input is expected during a meeting you’re attending or if you are there to observe.

How do I make a good first impression?

A big part of starting your new job is getting to know your new co-workers. The following are good to bear in mind if you want to make a good impression:

  • You are only starting out, don’t worry about impressing others with your knowledge, focus more on listening.
  • Be enthusiastic and approachable, show an interest in others and try to remember their names.
  • Take notes when being briefed on a task.
  • Ask questions.
  • Try to get involved in the social activities you get invited to.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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