Congratulations! You got the job, but don't completely relax just yet. The way you conduct yourself on your first day (and those first few to follow) can shape how your professional career pans out at your new organization. So how can you be sure you make a positive impression on your first day?
Get a Solid Understanding of the Company Culture
Spend your first few days listening to your colleagues and observing how they interact. Sean O'Neil, Principal and CEO of sales and management training firm Bare Knuckle People Management notes, "Every work culture is different, and what is customary in one environment may be taboo in another. So your most critical job in your first few days is to watch and listen for how people act and interact in your new workplace." Don't worry, we aren't suggesting you jump on the proverbial "Corporate Culture Bandwagon" and lose your own identity.
"The secret isn't to just fall in line and conform," O'Neil advises. "Rather, take stock of which of your personality traits and skills are likely to best compliment your new culture, and then lead with those. You can help shape the culture plenty in the months to come, but right now you'd do yourself a favor by showing your new colleagues and higher-ups that you are a very good fit."
Show your Initiative by Suggesting a New Idea
Remind your new team why you were hired for the position by identifying a new business opportunity. Lynda Zugec, Managing Director of The Workforce Consultants, a network of specialized HR professionals, recommends that "to really stand out these first few days, suggest something that has the potential to bring in business or add revenue in some innovative way that has not yet been considered." Don't be afraid of bringing new ideas to the table, but be sure to do so in a diplomatic way.
Seek Out and Connect with Potential Mentors Inside and Outside of Your Department
Try to get an understanding for which key individuals within your department and your organization will help you successfully deliver results. As a recognized leadership and innovation expert whose experience ranges from new hire processes to executive coaching, Val Wright advises that the time to identify and connect with these key individuals is during your first few days. She recommends that you "open your eyes and ears and develop a trusted advisor network to help you identify where you are on track and where you need to course correct."
While the first day or two (or longer) at a new job can be nerve-racking, don't worry too much.
Follow the advice of our experts, and you'll do great.