I was pumped this morning...first day at my new job! Now, I'm just bleh. I feel like I made a good impression, so there's that. (Or maybe I just got lucky that I didn't have a whole day's worth of opportunity to embarrass myself...) Throughout the day, I was wishing I had some sort of road map to follow. I probably should have done a little research to prepare myself (ironically, my new position is that of "legal researcher"). Anyway, I thought I'd make a card to help others navigate their first day on the job...some do's and don't's.
Start with a positive attitude. Negativity only breeds more negativity, so do your best to focus on success. You can do it! If you can't do it alone, phone a friend to cheer you on and remind you how awesome you are.
If you need a pick-me-up, don't overdo it. You want to be alert, but you don't want to be wired. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm terribly clumsy and irritable when I'm wired. You also don't want to crash. Surely, there's nothing as embarrassing as waking in a pool of drool with a "You're fired!" sign taped to you. (I felt really bad for that cashier, at my first job.) I don't drink coffee unless I desperately need some sleep...crap knocks me out like anesthesia. So, my pick-me-up consists of orange juice, cashews, and a cheese stick.
Be prepared. I cannot stress this one enough! So...today I just brought my merry self. I forgot my purse, my phone, my lunch, and everything else I gathered together last night to bring today. Sure, I could use the excuse of getting my toddler ready for daycare (...yeek! another card to follow!), but really, I just had this weird, last second, minimalistic moment where I felt like I shouldn't arrive on my first day with a bunch of clutter. Let me tell you....just bring it, you'll probably need every bit of what you thought you needed. xD
Don't be a pushover. The first day on the job can potentially set the tone for the rest of your time there. Since you're the new person, there's probably going to be someone who will try to get you to do menial tasks that they're too lazy to do. Be aware of your job title and description, and don't let them talk you into doing their work for them. (Unless it's your boss, then you do it, within reason. I mean, you do want the job, right?) Be assertive, but courteous when declining a task.
Know what questions you're going to ask. Ask them. On your first day, you're going to want to learn all you can about your new job and place of employment (although, you should have done some basic research already). Try to organize your thoughts and questions during the days leading up to your first day. Don't be afraid to ask anything, no matter how ludicrous you think it might sound. It's important for you to learn these things, and asking tells your employer that you are serious and ready to get down to business.
Arrive on time...better yet, arrive early. I'm always early, when it comes to work. I cannot stand even being on time. To an employer, a lack of punctuality is a sign of a disorganized, lazy, and/or indifferent mind. Tardiness on the first day is a huge red flag, so do what you can to be there early.
Hold on to that positive attitude throughout your day. It's probably going to be rough...I've never heard of anyone having a perfect first day. But you can do it!
When it's all over, CELEBRATE! You made it! Reward yourself!