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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for your First Day

19 August, 2016


By: Jennifer Beyer

Your first day of work can feel like the first day of school. I remember losing sleep and being worried that I would get lost on the Metro. It’s normal to be nervous. To prepare, you’ve filled out all of your paperwork. You’ve picked out your outfit and planned to arrive early. You made it to orientation and you’re ready and excited to start your career. Now your focus is to perform well in your new role. Like in college, you should take notes and ask questions, but is there anything else you can do to start off on the right foot? Here are some lessons from the first day of school that will translate to starting a new job.

Introduce Yourself

Similar to college move-in day, you’ll spend a lot of time introducing yourself. The best way to get to know your team and fellow co-workers is to say hello. As simple as it sounds, expressing interest in getting to know others will show your teammates that you want to make an effort. It will open the door for future conversations, as well as make it more comfortable for you to ask questions.

Meet Your Classmates

Networking starts on your first day. CEB’s research states that widening employee networks create many opportunities for employees to learn from each other. Get to know other new employees who are in different roles or tenure in their careers. This will create your network across the company. As you dive into your role, you might need to reach out to different departments. It is helpful to have those contacts who you can reach out to for information

Do your Homework

When you wrote a paper in college, you likely went to the library to do research. While you will be taking a lot of time learning your day-to-day tasks at work, make sure to do your homework. Ask if there are additional resources or articles you can read to expand your knowledge about your industry or functional area. The more you familiarize yourself, the easier it will be to learn your job.

Use your Google Calendar

You probably reviewed your calendar before classes started to plan ahead. As you get further into your onboarding, you will get busier. You won’t have as much time to keep documents and e-mails in order. While you have the time, decide how you will organize your inbox, files, and paperwork. Then when it gets busy, you can quickly store or retrieve information. It will make you more productive and efficient in the long run.

Participate during Ice-Breakers

Dorm bonding activities might have been a little awkward, but you probably learned something about your hallmates. The great thing about the first few weeks in a new job is that it’s a time to get to know everyone’s workstyle. It’s smart to ask your manager and teammates how they like to communicate so you can adapt your behavior. It’s easier to make changes at the beginning instead of down the road. This will also help you perform better and build better relationships.

You survived the first day of college, so you can make it through orientation.  Just make sure to take the right steps and it will set you up for success in your career and help you build your network.  Ready to start your first day at CEB? Prep for your interview using our interview toolkit.

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