You’re over the moon — you’ve landed your dream job at a brand-new company. But you’re also jittery about starting work in an unfamiliar place.

It’s normal to feel nervous about your first day in a new position. But new employees often make mistakes by not paying enough attention to their surroundings, or letting their nerves take over.

Avoid the biggest missteps that new starters can make, and score a sterling first impression from day one!

1. You Don’t Make Notes

Your colleague has devoted her entire morning to showing you the ropes, but you haven’t written anything down. Even if you have a mind like a steel trap, not taking notes will come across as arrogant and rude. Plus, you’ll look careless if you ask a question that was already covered in training.

Bring a notepad and pen on your first day, even if your new job is similar to your old one. If you ask any questions jot down the answers. Then, read over your notes every evening to let them sink in.

If you have a question after your training’s finished, check your notes first in case the answer is in there.

2. You Ask Too Many or Too Few Questions

There’s a fine line between checking in with your managers and coworkers too much or too little. And it’s a difficult line to tread. If you ask your colleagues every five minutes if you’re doing the right thing, you’ll get on everyone’s nerves.

But you don’t want to make a mistake early on when you’re unfamiliar with your new company’s processes. Yes, some people see questions as a sign of weakness. But your colleagues would prefer you to ask a ‘stupid’ question, instead of spending time fixing a big mistake.

The secret is how you ask the questions. First, review your notes and any work documentation in case the answer is in there. Then, batch your questions together, and ask your colleague or manager when they have time to answer them.

3. You Don’t Pay Attention to the Office Culture

Every office is different, and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you assume your new place is just like your old office. Maybe your new boss likes everyone at their desks by 9 am and you’re still pouring yourself a coffee. Or maybe the dress code is a notch smarter and your favourite polo shirt now looks unprofessional.

During your first days and weeks, pay close attention to how your manager and colleagues behave and dress.

Ask yourself if people:

  • Instant message each other instead of talking?
  • Take personal calls in meeting rooms instead of at their desks?
  • Wear suits and ties every day?
  • Have any personal items at their desk?
  • Switch off their phones during meetings?

If you’re sensitive to your new surroundings, you’ll fit in a lot quicker and avoid any bad feeling.

4. You Don’t Go to Lunch

You may not want to be best friends with everyone in your new workplace. But if you turn down every lunch invitation you won’t be seen as a team player.

Lunches are an ideal way to get to know your colleagues better. You’re more likely to make a friend that can help out if you get stuck! Plus it’s a good way to bond with your team, find out more information about the office culture, and get settled in quicker.

5. You Talk about Your Old Company Too Much

Moving offices can be a culture shock. The processes, communication styles and systems are so different from your old job and you feel out of your depth.

But culture shock can make your anxiety leak out in unfortunate ways. You might say the project management system is light years behind your old office. Or that your old team just knew what you wanted without even asking.

Comments like these will put your colleagues’ noses out of joint. It’s natural to compare, but keep your thoughts to yourself at first. If you have a suggestion on how to improve things, make sure it’s constructive, neutral and positive.

6. You Take Too Long to Adapt

A new job means unfamiliar databases to pick up, document management systems to master and compliance processes to grasp. These will suck up your precious time and your productivity will take a nose dive.

Ramp up quicker by researching any new software or systems at home. If a new application has you tearing your hair out, look online for guides outside of office hours. Take a note of jargon that you hear and read about and research online, or ask a colleague what it means.

7. You Share Too Much Personal Information

It’s natural to be anxious on your first day at work, but don’t let your nerves make your mouth run! Your colleagues don’t need to know about your romance problems. Don’t chat about your weekend plans in the middle of a busy project.

The same goes for social media. Wait a while before adding colleagues to personal accounts such as Facebook. If your colleagues want to connect, think about giving them limited access.

Wrapping It Up

Every new starter wants to make a sterling first impression. But the anxiety of joining a new company can bring out the worst in new hires, and rub their colleagues up the wrong way.

But if you put in the extra work with your colleagues and appreciate the little differences, you’ll be part of the furniture in no time.

Ready to electrify a potential employer and land your dream job? Contact Saro Recruitment today for a personalised service with real results.  

07 June 2019