Your first day on the job is similar to your first day at a new school or college- you feel like a small fish in a big pond. You want to make an excellent first impression. So, what should you do on the first day? It can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start after completing the paperwork. Below are four ways to make your first day on the job awesome.
Be Professional and Smile
Employment and workplace expert Steve Langerund suggest that a genuine smile will show you’re excited to be at the company. He adds, “A smile goes a long way to make a good will.”
It would help if you also were mindful of social cues from co-workers. Maintain a friendly demeanor and greet your new colleagues with a smile or friendly introduction, if you haven’t met them yet.
Arrive Early and Leave Late
You will always be expected to be on time for work, but if you want to make a strong first impression on the first day, arrive a little early. Of course, ask your manager what time to arrive and show up a few minutes before then. It shows you’re eager to get started. Same goes for the end of the day. Stay a little late to show you’re dedicated to getting the job done and aren’t just watching the clock.
Dress Appropriately for the First Job
If you want to learn how to make a strong first impression, emulate an Italian. (I’m serious!)
Italians have the concept of ‘Bella Figura’ which is all about making a good impression. A huge part of ‘Bella Figura’ is how you dress. You only get one chance to make a positive first impression, so make it count.
Like it or not, people form their initial impressions of you and judge your personality based solely on appearance. Dressing in proper business attire presents a visual image and sends a message that you are professional.
When in doubt, it’s better to overdress on the first 14 days and then adjust your wardrobe as needed. Ask your manager or refer to your company’s policy on attire if you’re unsure.
Be Confident While Introducing Yourself
You’ll meet multiple people on your big day. When you introduce yourself, be confident as it will leave a good lasting impression. Make conversations with co-workers, and give a candid smile. Let them know that you’re always happy to help and collaborate with them.
Unfortunately, conveying self-assurance is easier said than done. Most people aren’t born with Frank Abagnale-like confidence. (If you didn’t get that reference, you need to watch Catch Me If You Can right now. His story is incredible.) There are confident hacks you can try, but the solution is to condition yourself to drop the negativity bias that chisels away your self-belief.
If you're still crippled with self-doubt, it’s okay. Some people have a harder time improving confidence and self-esteem due to deeply rooted origins or traumatic experiences (e.g., victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; people with depression or anxiety; and people who’ve experienced racial, religious, cultural, gender, or LGBTQ discrimination)
Sometimes it’s okay to fake it until you make it.
You can fake ‘confidence’ by imitating confident, competent, and optimistic people. Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk about body language and confidence offers excellent advice for improving self-confidence, particularly for those who struggle with it.