Congratulations! You’ve gracefully given your two weeks, and you’re just about to approach that first day of work. What are you wearing? More importantly, how are you going to approach this new position? (More on clothes later) It’s likely that you’ve only started in a brand new work place – where you’ll be spending the majority of your time – only one other time if that. Therefore, it’s important that you establish yourself in your best way.
Two things inspired this article: how effortlessly my current manager transitioned into her role at a new company (just two weeks after I had started), and this post from My Domaine on the subject.
Right off the bat, say hello and introduce yourself to everyone. Do not be that shy, semi-awkward person when people first meet you because first impressions really do matter. Have a smile on your face at all times, and look people in the eye when you shake their hand. Make sure to ask them a question or two, and find a way to mentally note what department they’re in to associate back to a name later (when you forget it).
Next, set up a time with your manager to go over expectations. It’s important to learn the goals of the team, as well as what they’ve succeeded in, and where your talents can really shine. Find projects in motion you can immediately help with, and in your free time (there’s always free time in the first week), set goals for the next week, month, 4 months and even 8 months. Using the power to create your own structure will keep your job that much more exciting, and show your bosses you are here to make a difference.
Now that you know what your manager wants from you, it’s time to find out how you can support your team and any of the teams you’ll be working closely with. Set up one-on-one meetings with those managers, and dig deep to find where you can really be an asset. Also take this time to find out their story, and don’t be shy to share yours! It’s important to establish a comfortable relationships with your peers when you’re the new guy.
The fourth thing to keep in mind is to get the lay of the land. Figure out where the bathroom is, get your computer/phone set up, see where the kitchen is, etc. Also, Google and ask your desk neighbors where the best lunch spots are around. Plan to join them for lunch a couple times the first week!
Now back to clothes… you probably saw some of the office culture at your final interview, but definitely dress and present yourself exactly how you want people to portray you, even if that means dressing it up for the first couple of weeks. I always save Friday for that outfit that’s almost too casual (dressing professional at work means acting professional). And when you start to get comfortable in your new office, remember that these people have to look at you all day, so why not give them something good to look at?
Here was my very first day of work:
Bottoms up to the first day giddies!