The first week at a new job can be exciting and stressful at the same time. On one hand, you want to make a good first impression. But on the other hand, you don't know the work culture or the people, and there's a chance that you'll make a false step. Understand that your concerns are valid, and just about every new employee goes through the same thing. Despite your worries, there are ways to survive the first week at a new job.
1. Don’t Show up Late on the First Day
If you want to survive your first week at a new job, you need to arrive on time each day. Your employer and coworkers don't know you, and if you arrive late on your first day, this leaves a bad first impression. If you’re scheduled to start working at 9 a.m., arrive between 8:45 a.m. and 8:50 a.m.
2. It’s Okay to Overdress
You probably wore your best business attire for the interview. If you're unsure of the dress code prior to your first day, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Dress professionally on your first day and then observe your coworkers and employer’s attire. You can always adjust later to fit in with the company culture.
3. Be Professional at All Times
If you immediately click with your employer and coworkers, this doesn't imply slacking as far as professionalism goes. You're still the new gal or guy on the block, and you’ll be under a spotlight for at least the first couple of weeks. Regardless of how your coworkers act, maintain a professional image at all times. Avoid overly long lunch breaks, don't use profanity and don't get involved in workplace gossip.
4. Pace Yourself
It's your first week and you want to prove that you're capable of handling the task at hand. As a result, you may accept any and every assignment that comes your way. It's good that you’re a team player and ready to work, but if you take on too much too soon, you might burn out.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It's better to ask for clarification than to make a huge mistake. This is your first week, and while you're required to know your job, your employer doesn't expect you to immediately grasp everything about the company and position. Take notes as you’re being trained and don’t assume anything.
6. Do Lunch
Walking into a new place and working with new people can be a bit intimidating. And if you’re a shy person, you might avoid group conversations or eating lunch with coworkers. However, this is the easiest and fastest way to get to know the other employees. Accept invitations to lunch or invite a coworker to eat with you.
7. Speak up, but Don't Overstep Boundaries
During your first week on a new job, you may hesitate to speak up during meetings. However, your boss hired you because he or she believed that you would be a valuable member. For this matter, don't be afraid to share your ideas or make suggestions — when appropriate. At the same time, you shouldn't overstep boundaries. In other words, don't go around telling employers or coworkers how to do their jobs better.
The first week is always the hardest, but as you settle into your new position and get to know your coworkers, the days will get easier.
How did you survive your first week on the new job?