Catherine's Career Corner
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December 31st, 2008
Once Hired, Tips on Handling Your First Day on the Job

The First Impression

The first impression is important as this sets the tone for your future workplace relationships. First impressions are based upon your actions, comments, dress, and non-verbal behaviour.


Because you observed how others were dressed at your interview, you already know how to dress on your first day. If you have received a written policy concerning dress, then the first day will be even less confusing. If you are to wear a uniform, make sure it fits, is clean and wrinkle free.


In addition to what you say, your body language conveys a powerful message about what you are thinking and feeling. Try to relax and avoid having your body language contradict your verbal message. A few ideas that may help to convey the appropriate message include:

    1. be an active listener
    2. speak confidently, avoid mumbling
    3. shake your fellow employees hands with confidence
    4. look people in the eye when you are introduced
    5. offer a warm smile

Remembering Names

Try and remember the names of the people you meet. Of course it would be unrealistic, not to mention nearly impossible, to remember everyone’s name, but…

Strategies for Remembering Names

  • Work on remembering a few each day, pay particular attention to those people you will be working with directly.
  • Write names down and go over them in the evening, or use word association techniques.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask. Asking someone whose name you remember for someone’s name you’ve forgotten is the least awkward.
  • What to Expect on the First Day
  • People may ignore you. They may go on with their business without noticing you are there, or may embarrass you just for fun as an initiation to the workplace. Remember, you will not be the “new” person forever.
  • People may also go out of their way to welcome you to the company.
  • High emotions, excitement, anticipation, nervousness, anxiety, fear.
  • Surviving the First Day
  • Be humble, being nervous is natural.
  • Be nice to others first; don’t wait for them to be nice to you.
  • Have a sincere desire to join the group, let them know either verbally or non-verbally you want to be a contributing team member.
  • Try to do everything in your power to have a positive start.
  • Observe what is going on around you in the workplace, this will give you a clearer definition of the way things work.
  • If there is any confusion about what you should be doing on your first day, seek clarification.
  • All Tips and graphics compiled by Next
    Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.

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