What’s more stressful than the first day of a new job? Well, there’s the first day of school, but that’s behind you now. Back then, success meant sharpened No. 2 pencils and a new lunchbox. But to make sure you get off on the right foot at your new job, a little more prep is called for.
As an executive recruiter, I send new hires off to new jobs every week, so I know a thing or two about helping folks start off on the right foot. Let’s review some first day pointers:
The Bare Minimum Basics
Make sure your personal technology is up to date. If you’re due for a new smartphone or tablet, get it now and get familiar with it before your first day so you can function without stress-inducing glitches. Then take stock of your closet. Chances are, you bought a shiny new suit for your interview; now make sure the rest of your wardrobe is in good order. Besides looking like you belong there, having the right apparel will boost your confidence.
Make a Cram Plan for Learning About the Company’s Culture
You’re still going to be the new guy/new girl, but doing your homework can reduce the length of time that label clings to you. Dig through the company website, ask questions of those connected with the company and carefully review any materials you’ve already been provided. The social and psychological aspects of sharing a workspace with other people are as important to master as the skills necessary to do your job properly. So don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions once you’re on board.
Work on Mastering Confident Body Language
Think body language isn’t important? Think again. The way you stand, speak, gesture and move conveys information to your new colleagues about whether to like you, trust you or defer to you. I like this article from Forbes that outlines classic tips.
Read Books on Business, Manners and Conflict Resolution
Whatever your industry or job description, you’ll be called upon to navigate business waters, find polite ways to say “no” or persuade people, efficiently resolve office conflicts in your favor, and so on. These are skills you pick up after a few years of working in an office environment, but you can fast-track your development by accessing advice. Here’s a great list of 12 classic business books. If you were clever enough to schedule a little time off in between your old job and your new one, now’s the time to read.
Create a Work Journal to Track Tasks
You’re going to be hit with lots of information on Day One. Do yourself a favor and adopt a new productivity habit: a journal in which you jot down tasks, notes, assignments, due-dates, triggers to help you remember co-workers’ names, etc. Forget using Post-its or the margins of meeting agendas. One notebook, with the date noted at the top of each page. Review it frequently and you’re well on your way to a smooth transition in your new post.
Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.