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Ranimi23's avatar

First day at a new workplace: what to do and what not to do?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1917points) October 8th, 2010

Next week I start working somewhere new, high-tech international company. This will be the first time I see the place where I sit, the people with whom I work at my team and the whole atmosphere around. My bosses I know, they interviewed me.

I thought maybe I should bring something for the first day. Cake? Drinks? I will probably meet everybody, one by one. I will do a comprehensive tour of the building. It is very large and has a lot of things. I come from little start up and suddenly passes to a big high-tech company. It’s a pretty big change for me.

I have slight knees, guilty as charged. I’d love suggestions on what to do my first day job and also what not to do. To my first job I didn’t bring anything, just myself.

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14 Answers

ucme's avatar

Do : Apply yourself & strive to make a good impression.
Do not : Arrive naked!

lucifer's avatar

Well, typically in a large organization, people remember you by the impressions they form in the first 5 seconds. DO NOT forget names. Be extremely confident. Don’t hesitate on shaking ANYBODY’S hands. Be polite to the workstaff/janitors/guards. Wear stuff you’re comfortable in. Check to make sure your clothes fit on ok and wear shoes that let you walk around a lot (long tours can be EXHAUSTIVE).

It helps to offer to pay for someone’s lunch in a bid to make an initial friend. Accept any and all invititations to hang out after work cause you don’t want to seem insulting. Don’t be too upright, but try not to bend too many rules on your first day itself.

Hope things work out well for you :)

Cruiser's avatar

I would skip the opening day niceties, food, etc. and just go and scope out the lay of the land. Bringing something may appear pushy to other coworkers who then could become standoffish. Once you know the climate and the protocols then you can add your own personal touch to the office environment. Good luck!

YoBob's avatar

Be yourself and you’ll do fine!

Of course it is normal to worry about first impressions. However, all you really need to do is be personable. As much as I like to separate the personal and work life, @lucifer is correct about accepting lunch and happy hour invitations. That is really where the social connections that will eventually come into play in the office are forged.

diavolobella's avatar

I agree with Cruiser. Take stock of things. Listen a lot, talk a little. Be polite and pleasant.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

What @Cruiser writes and based on my own observations, I’d hold off on hanging out with co workers until you’ve put in a good month to learn the pecking order among them. One of the mistakes a lot of our new hires make is to take up the invitations to hang out from the “bad seeds” because they appear the most helpful and friendly when really they’re looking for new party buddies.

BoBo1946's avatar

Hope your first day is not like mine was many years ago. The boss cussed me out the first day.

In 1980, resigned from coaching and teaching and took a job with a major insurance company as an insurance adjuster. On a Friday, packed our stuff into a large U-Haul. Got no sleep over the weekend moving our stuff into our home. Reported for work Monday morning. Met everyone in the office and told my secretary had several things to do about my lights, gas, etc. As I was leaving the office, over heard my secretary taking a total fire loss. There was another adjuster in the office and he was experienced. My thought he would handle this loss since this was my first day. didn’t even know where the bathroom was located!

When I returned to the office, my secretary said, “your boss is on line one!” BTW, my boss was located in another office 150 miles away. When I picked up the phone he said, “what in the Hell did I hire you for, you just cost me a $1000 damn dollars….this loss was sent to an independent adjuster that cost a $1000 damn dollars!” I was so shocked….a word could not come from my mouth. He ranted and cursed for about 15 minutes and I never said a word. Just listening. Finally, he just hung up with no comment from me. After getting off the phone, just sat there in a daze looking out the window. My biggest thought was, “what in the heck am I going to do!” Thought about moving back to Memphis and taking my old job back. The position had not been fill and had a great relationship with my principal. But, had bought a house, and you know the rest of the story.

So, I sucked up my pride and went to work. 10 years later, my secretary said, “your old boss is on line one!” (he took a better position about a year after i was hired..thank goodness) The first words out of his mouth was, “I’m calling to apologize how I treated you that first day on the job!” I liked to fell on the floor. We had a civil coversation and that was that….

Worked there for 25 years and took early retirement in 2004.

Moral of the story: don’t quit on the first day!

diavolobella's avatar

@Neizvestnaya. Exactly! That’s why it’s a good idea to say little and listen a lot. The bad news is that the backstabbers and game players tend to be fairly outgoing, so they will be the friendliest to begin with. The good news is that they will reveal themselves almost from the get go because they love to have a new audience.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@diavolobella: Party once with the bad seeds and everyone knows all the dirt, including management. Some of our nicest employees never got off the ground because of that mistake. Also, the bad seeds like to hold stuff against others. We’ve got one who can never be fired because he’s done drugs with just about everyone who’s ever come through the doors and uses his ethnicity as a defense when pushed.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Ranimi23 : I don’t know where you live, but if you live in an Asian country, then taking a gift of food on the first day is not a bad idea. Or if you know that the culture of the company is decidedly Asian, then again a gift of cake is not out of place.

However, if you live in a Western country such as the US, Europe, or Australia and if the new company is markedly Western, then the food is not necessary.

Go to your new work environment with an open heart and mind. Reach out with sincerity to shake hands with the people you will get to know so well. Be yourself. Be efficient with the knowledge that you know and be ready to find the information that you need but may not yet have.

Try a visualization exercise before you go. Imagine yourself surrounded by helpful, hardworkinig people. View them as friendly but also efficient. See yourself as settling into your desk and starting your first task at which you are successful. Look at yourself from above after your first day relaxing at home.

Good luck!

BratLady's avatar

Take nothing except a good attitude and smile. Take a lot of mental notes as to how things are done. Just pay attention and be yourself.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Be nice to the admin, try to remember as many names as you can, and be punctual.

zen_'s avatar

@Ranimi23 First off, good luck.

Like on a date – be your self.

Neither suck up to anyone, nor be especially mean to anyone.

Like Fluther – it’s good to read the guidelines and get a feel first, before diving in with (relationship) questions.

Like on a blind date in a busy restaurant, when you are speaking one on one with someone – you actually aren’t. So: be kind to the “waiter”, avoid intimite questions and gossip, and be polite.



Gabby101's avatar

Stay all day even if you have absolutely nothing to do, unless your boss says you can leave early. If your boss says you can leave early, then you should. I hate it when I see my new people with nothing to do and then when I tell them “hey, go ahead and go home” they won’t. It’s like somebody refusing a gift I’m giving them.

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