Starting a new job can be a very nerve-wracking experience.  Nobody likes being the new kid everyone is silently passing judgment on, and it’s all too easy to slip up and say or do something which will make you feel a fool.  If you’re about to take up a new position and it’s keeping you awake at night, here are just seven things you should avoid doing on your first day in the job…

Don’t Show up Late

It’s an easy one to start, but make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get to the office and don’t rock up late and flustered.  It’s always better to be early and look keen than get lost on your first commute and show up looking like you’ve run a marathon.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Asking questions shows you’re engaged and eager to learn more about your new company and colleagues.  Many people feel foolish for asking questions and worry they’ll get on other people’s nerves, but it’s always better to ask if you’re not sure about something.  You’ll look like more of a fool if you hold your tongue and then make a very obvious blunder.

Don’t Look too Serious

Of course it’s a serious matter and you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot by playing the class clown, but try to smile!  People will warm to you more if you appear happy and laid-back, rather than some sort of dour automaton with no sense of humour.

Girl holding laptop

Don’t Stay up Late the Night Before

You should probably get an early night if you’re starting a new job the next day, and you probably don’t need that last nightcap to steady your nerves and help you sleep.  Get to bed at a reasonable time and wake up looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, rather than grey and crumpled.

Don’t Judge People too Quickly

You can’t really get a good feel for someone’s character on just one day in the job, so don’t be too quick to decide whether you will or won’t get on with them.  It’s very difficult to change your opinion of someone if you get off on the wrong foot, so go into your first day assuming everyone is a decent person and make your mind up further down the line.

Don’t Immediately Try and Angle for Promotion

You want to come across as confident, but it will really rub people up the wrong way if you stride in and immediately start trying to climb the corporate ladder.  There will be plenty of room to prove your worth later on. Make a positive impression and demonstrate how efficient you are, but don’t appear too desperate to muscle in and get a promotion or pay rise.

Don’t be Scared

Far easier said than done, but don’t be nervous! If you’re feeling anxious it really will show on your face, and people are very quick to sense that as a weakness.  Even if you’re not feeling supremely confident, try and act as though you are. Smile, relax and try to enjoy your first day in your new job because it will set you up for tomorrow.

Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.


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