First Day of Work

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Ask just about anyone you know and they will tell you the first day at a new job is like the first day of school. In addition to learning where you’ll work, where the bathrooms are and where the cafeteria is, you’ll meet people and you should be the person you want to be. I disagree with the metaphor.

If you’ve done your homework and kept in touch with your future supervisor during the transition, you know exactly what is expected of you on the first day. You know what the dress code is, what time to show up and if you are lucky if you need to bring a lunch or not.

As for meeting people, of course first impressions are important, but the people you meet will also want to give the best first impression. I suggest being relaxed and polite and yourself. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t, that approach never works out in the long run.

A successful first day at a new job takes a little planning. Set the alarm a few minutes early, or even a full half hour. Over dress a little. If everyone else in the office is dressed up for your first day, you do not want to be under dressed. Take a few extra moments before you walk out the door to remember that they hired you. You belong there. I don’t suggest being cocky, but simply confidant. When you arrive, be friendly. Make eye contact. Say hello and try to remember everyone’s names. You might be more successful than you thought!

Don’t be afraid to be lost or not know an answer. Ask for directions and ask for help. Everyone in the office has some knowledge that you need, even if it is only where the bathrooms are located.

Relax and above all else, be friendly. Soon you will know the ins and outs of the office. Until then enjoy the opportunities as they arise and use this as a chance to get to know everyone without any preconceived notions.

I’m leaving! Now what?

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You’ve given your two weeks and might be thinking, now what? Treating the last two weeks just as you treated the first two will leave you and your company in good positions. Be positive. Be friendly. Work hard.

Some people tend to slack off during the last two weeks. I suggest taking the opposite approach. Put forth extra effort. Make sure all of your projects are completed and as close to perfect possible. Assist in rewriting your job description and make sure to include the additional tasks you do daily (such as filling the printer with paper). Check in with the people you work with internally and externally and ask them what information they need to help transition someone else into your position.

Make your contact information available to only those who will need it or work directly with you (I’ll address the goodbye e-mail in a post next week). While you have left a detailed description of how to post a piece to the company website, the next person might not understand exactly what you meant. The option to contact you can relieve some of the stress. Make sure if they do contact you that you respond appropriately.

Leaving the company on a positive note doesn’t just solidify your reputation within the company you are leaving, but it helps leave a good impression should you need to contact the company again for references or any other reason.

While some people would suggest asking for a letter of reference from your boss as you are leaving, I disagree. Find a way to keep in touch and ask for a reference only when you need it.

Change is stressful for everyone. Doing what you can to relieve as much stress as possible for your co-workers and supervisor is the least you should do.