Here at FDM, we offer Professional Skills training where you have the opportunity to learn effective workplace communication methods, interview guidance, résumé tips, presentation skills, appropriate business dress, office etiquette and more. FDM’s New York Professional Skills trainer and Academy Administration Manager, Tracy Panford, believes that for your first day of work it’s important to be on time, professionally dressed, enthusiastic and confident with an eagerness to learn. Read on to learn about Tracy’s tips on how to ace your first day.
1. Be Prompt
Timeliness on your first day is key for setting the tone. In this case, ‘on time’ means early. Be sure to map out your route ahead of time to get a gauge on how long your commute will be. Then, to be safe, add 15 minutes. This is to take into account any potential delays and avoid the need to rush, allowing you to walk into your first day feeling composed. There’s nothing worse than worrying about your timeliness when you should be calm, cool and collected. With a plan in place, you can guarantee a solid arrival.
2. Be Prepared
You are more likely to have confidence on your first day if you are prepped in more aspects than one. One factor in preparation is what you actually bring with you. The simplest yet most significant items are a notebook and pen. Having these show that you are ready to learn and that you want to put your best foot forward. You can also be mentally prepared by understanding that you may be overwhelmed. A way to prepare for this is to do your research in advance on the company and your position. Having some background knowledge will increase your self-certainty. No one expects you to master your role on your first day or even your first week; it will take time.
3. Be Engaged
Get involved, ask questions, be enthusiastic and dive in right away. Cultivate a positive first impression by introducing yourself to everyone confidently, with eye contact, a firm handshake and a smile. Be present and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with your new co-workers. You’ll most likely experience a bit of information overload on your first day. Remember that your co-workers and manager are there to help and want you to do the best you can; it's OK to ask questions. Speak up and communicate – asking for clarification on something you don’t understand shows that you’re willing and ready to learn. Remember that the best way to comprehend something is to try for yourself. Your immediate hands-on approach will show your enthusiasm for the job.
4. Dress to Impress
When it comes to a dress code, every work environment can have different guidelines and expectations. A good rule of thumb is to arrive in business professional attire, and let your manager advise you on the preferred attire thereafter. It is better to arrive dressed formally as opposed to appearing overly laid-back. Putting effort into your appearance shows you care about representing your new company, and that you want to make a good first impression. Once you read the employee handbook and have the opportunity to observe your co-workers' attire, you'll be able to pick up the correct habits and find the right balance in no time.
5. Be Yourself
The most important tip for securing a successful career is to enjoy your new path and be true to yourself. You were not only hired because of your experience, but also because you made an outstanding impression. You worked hard to earn your new position, but remember that the hiring manager also felt you would be a good fit within the team. Therefore, you should be confident in yourself and bring your personality forward to show them that they made the right decision. This will also enable you to get to know your co-workers and build genuine connections. Being yourself in the workplace will empower you to do your most efficient work.
Take each day one at a time, and focus on learning, developing and establishing yourself in your new environment. You will be spending the majority of your time here from now on, and it all begins with that first day – enjoy it!
Want to take advantage of step-by-step Professional Skills training? Learn more about how FDM can help jump-start your career and prepare you for success on your first day.