Hello, good readers. If you’ve been following my little ramblings for the past month or so, you’ve heard me give advice on several aspects of job hunting, from how to behave at a job fair to how to follow up on a job interview. Of course, the ultimate goal of job hunting is to find new employment. (Unless you’re a rich tycoon with an odd sense of fun who gets a kick out of interviewing for jobs you would never, ever, really accept; in that case, do whatever you want.) So, if (or more properly, when) you get your chance, how should you behave on your first day of work?
First, even before you get to work, dress appropriately. What constitutes an appropriate outfit will depend on what sort of work you’re doing. If you work on a construction site, blue jeans and a T-shirt will likely be all you need; if you’re working in an office environment, wearing a suit and tie (or nice skirt and jacket, if you happen to be a female) will work best. If you need to wear an uniform or other specialized outfit, be sure you know whether you need to put it on before you get to work or whether you are changing on the job. In either case, ensure that you have the appropriate outfit available before you get on the job site (unless it’s provided in a locker room or other staging area at your job site). If you don’t know what to wear, or will have training in a classroom setting before getting on the actual job site, business casual attire is a safe bet, such as seen here:
Speaking of training, know what you’re going to be doing on your first day of work. If you have several days of training, covering the details of your job as well as the rules and regulations of your company, be sure to bring any needed supplemental material to your training session. Handouts from your interviews, paper for notes, writing implements, folders for any handouts (and there can be lots of handouts), all should be part of your first day training session supplies. While attending your training, listen closely, take any notes you need to follow the material, and be sure to ask questions, particularly if there is anything you don’t understand.
If your first day has you shadowing someone, be sure to pay close attention and study what they do as you watch; it might be your best chance to learn what the job entails. Chances are you will spend your first day observing and learning the ropes, but don’t let that be an excuse to slack off. You only get one chance to make a good impression on your instructor, who is likely to be your overseer on the job, as well. It’s best to be on your best behavior and try to make a good impression.
On that subject, one last consideration: be friendly with your coworkers. You don’t have to find a new best friend on the job site, but if you are pleasant, cheerful, and willing to chat with your new fellow workers, chances are that you can make your on-the-job time more enjoyable. In addition, if your coworkers have a positive impression of you, it’ll only help when you face job reviews or have to get their help with some aspect of the job.
That’s all there really is to getting started on the job; dress appropriately, be prepared for the first day’s tasks, and try to make some new friends. Have a great first day on the new job, and enjoy your work!