So you braved the job search. You cleaned up your resume, got it out there on the market, prepared for and went on several interviews, including one interview that you nailed. Great! Good for you! But now what?
The interview process, the wage negotiations, it’s all over so you can sit back relax and just show up the first day and hope for the best, right? Wrong! The first hours, days, and months at a job are very vital. You are continuously making an impression on those who thought you were the man, or woman, for the job.
Starting a new job can be an intimidating experience, almost as intimidating as the interview itself. What is the proper attire? Who will you report to? Who will report to you? There are a lot of unknowns. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the first days and more when starting your new career at a new company or a new position at your current employer.
According to the Employee Policy Foundation, a quarter of new hires will not make it to a full year of employment. Thinking cup half full one might say it’s nice to have a full year to prove your skills. In reality it’s the first impression that affects how you are perceived the rest of that year. Consider this when it comes to your first day of work.
Plan to arrive a little early on your first day. Not too early, to the point where you end up waiting in the parking lot for the building to open up, but more like 15 to 30 minutes early. It is better to be in a situation where you have time to kill by going over notes or enjoying a cup of coffee than scrambling in late, having had to search for a parking spot. If the interview wasn’t held on site make the drive on your own beforehand so it can be timed properly.
There may be heavier traffic in the morning hours, take this into consideration as well.
Being late your first day of work is almost as bad as being late for the interview. If you do end up running late, be sure to call your supervisor well ahead of time and be ready to give a legitimate and honest reason for why you will be tardy.
Upon arrival enter with a smile on your face and greet those you pass. Be polite to everyone, at this point you have no idea how much influence or power the tool room attendant may have.
There is a lot to learn about a company in addition to the general job duties that were probably laid out at the time of the job offer or acceptance. A good way to start preparing yourself for your new job is to do some research. Typically some research is done before the actual job interview. Take some time before starting your job to do additional research on the company. Once you start, continue to gain knowledge on the organization from the inside. It may prove effective to thoroughly review the written job description, employee manuals, and other company-produced documents. Learn the organizational culture, both written and unwritten.
While there is usually a large amount of training and general information provided by the company, it is often your new coworkers that can offer the best perspective on the corporate culture. When you feel comfortable, try to get to know your coworkers. Ask about how much time they have spent working with the company, and how they arrived at their current postition. This could offer some enlightening information on their experiences within the company.
While you have their attention this is a good time to ask any other questions that you may have. Where is the supply room? How do I dispose of hazardous materials? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. As a new employee you are in the best position for gaining information. Take advantage of it! People will inderstand that the procedures are new to you and respect your desire to be well informed before taking action. It is better to ask questions and have things clarified right away than to try something on your own and end up having to fix it later.