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FIRST DAY OF WORK: Tips & Checklist To Start Work

No matter if you change your job or start your new career, after the application and selection process there is still a hurdle to overcome: the first working day in a new company. Right at the beginning: A certain nervousness is completely normal. Sure, you have convinced your new boss of your qualities and have prevailed in the application process against other applicants, but you may have never met your new colleagues. And that's not the only thing that awaits you on this day. The tips for the first working day show what is important at the start of work and how you can manage your start ...



Start of work: the biggest expectations


Work processes, structures, organization ... Even long years of professional experience usually do not protect against a certain amount of uncertainty that creeps in on the first day.


And something else is part of the start of work: high expectations.


You want to do everything right from the beginning and show that you are the right choice for this position. Also, expect from your new employer a lot. The three biggest expectations for a new employee are:


  • New contacts


Many wish to be seen as part of the team on the first day and to meet many colleagues in the workplace. Social acceptance plays an important role because nobody wants to feel excluded.


  • Perfect tasks


A horror performance: make a mistake on the first day of work, which could attract attention from colleagues or superiors ... Especially at the beginning no one wants to be embarrassed. After all, it's about the first impression. There is often a hint of perfectionism in the air to convince the new environment as soon as possible.


  • Good training


In order to get to know the processes and the new tasks, good training of new employees is essential. A popular way is to mentor programs where the new employee can turn to his mentor for questions or problems. Whether this tandem fits, but often only after a few weeks.



Conversely, there are equally high expectations of you as a new employee:


  • Even the one who hired you has a reputation to lose and wants to see that you are the right choice.

  • Of course, colleagues want to know what kind of a guy you are and whether you fit into the team.

  • The boss in turn hopes for a new service provider. So a dedicated employee with a quick mind and steep learning curve and critical ability. Because no one can or can know everything in the beginning.



All this together and in the mind of many workers experience the first working day as enormously stressful. We understand that. High expectations and excitement are quite normal.


But be aware, it's just the first day! The beginning. This will be followed - hopefully - by many more days with this employer. Nothing is set in stone right away. No mistake unforgivable. On the contrary, career starters enjoy puppy protection right at the beginning.


So keep in mind that the first day is about getting to know colleagues, workplaces and processes. Be dedicated and gratefully receive all information. And do not try to change the whole company two hours after starting work (not even after two weeks). First, build confidence in the team. Be cautious and ask many questions. And you smile a lot - that makes you sympathetic ...



Work Start Checklist: What counts on the first day


Here you will find in short form the most important points for your start of work: That's what matters ...


  • Punctuality. Do not come at the last minute.

  • Clothes. Dress appropriately - rather overdressed than underdressed.

  • Get to know each other. Imagine and write down new names.

  • Workplace. Set up your desk.

  • Engagement. Become active and ask questions.

  • Training. Be grateful for hints and corrections.

  • Contacts. Take breaks to get into the conversation.

  • End of work. Thank the colleagues.


These errors should be avoided on the first day:


  • Smartphone. Social media posts and chats are a no-go on the first day of work.

  • Calling by nickname. In the beginning use full name - until you are offered to call your colleagues by nickname.

  • To know better. YOU are the newcomer. So get to know the store first.

  • Break. Take a break when colleagues do. And not too often.



A typical first day of work


How does a typical first day in the new job actually go?


Of course, there are differences in every job, every company and every industry. But there are also similarities, so you do not have to jump completely into the cold water.


Be prepared for the most important issues that you will definitely expect. For example, your short performance in a few sentences (so-called elevator pitch), which you will certainly need several times on the first day.


So that you get a feeling of what else is coming to you when you start working, we have put together an exemplary daily routine for you, which shows you the most important stages that you can expect on your first day:



  • 8 clock: Start of work


On the first day, you should rather be over-punctual. But please do not overdo it, five to ten minutes are completely sufficient. Whether you really start at 8 o'clock in the future or not, is another matter. On the first day, it makes a good impression, if you do not come too late.



  • 8:10 am: Presentation


Of course, if you have discussed in the interview where you will be picked up on the first day, you should, of course, wait there. Otherwise, stick to the people you know from the job interview. In the beginning, you will be confronted with a flood of new names. Make a note of the names of your new colleagues and supervisors and learn them as quickly as possible.



  • 8:35 am: Workplace


After you have met your new colleagues, it's time for your new job. If you are sitting at your desk, you should get as close as possible to its setup. Of course, it may be that you still lack some work materials. This is not a problem, just make a note of what's missing and ask the responsible employee. However, avoid asking about every little thing. This not only annoys you and the employee, but it also costs valuable working time.



  • 9 o'clock: Training


Your desk is set up, we can start. You probably have a lot of reading material to start with. Project descriptions and reports, targets, team meeting minutes and other documents are important and useful for entry. Of course, you should read these, but please clarify to whom you can turn with your questions. The following applies: Urgent questions should be asked immediately, while others are noted down for the time being. Many questions are also answered by the documents or discussions with your new colleagues.



  • 9:30 am: Coffee break


Take the first break to talk to your colleagues. The following applies: You introduce yourself and answer questions, but in the main you should - if your colleagues talk about themselves - listen. Of course, you want to present yourself well. But if you overdo it on the first day, it does not look self-assured, but arrogant. Not a good first impression.



  • 9:45 am: Engagement


After the coffee break, the reading of the documents continues. However, you should not isolate yourself, but continue to be approachable for your colleagues. If one of your colleagues comes to you with a question or a request, you should take the time to help the colleague. Basically, always show activity on your own and never wait for someone to give you tasks.



  • 11:10 am: Planning


When the opportunity presents itself, you can talk briefly with your new boss about what's leftover during the day. Maybe you will meet other colleagues in the afternoon or attend your first meeting? However, if you only talk to your boss when he has time, you should not force yourself to do so.



  • 12 noon: Lunch break


It's best to join the colleagues you work with directly. Go to the canteen or the favorite restaurant together and take the lunch break to socialize. Again, you introduce yourself and answer questions, otherwise, you listen attentively to your colleagues. It's only the first day!



  • 1 pm: Work phase


After the lunch break, you will immerse yourself in your material or do small tasks that have been assigned to you. Maybe you can already clarify some questions or you realize that you need more documents. If you need them in a timely manner, just ask your colleagues.



  • 2 pm: Team meeting


Depending on the day you start your work, perhaps the first team meeting is about to begin. You can assume that you can introduce yourself in this context. Therefore, think in advance of what you say and how you want to present yourself. Otherwise, you should follow the meeting attentively and listen carefully. Nobody expects the revolutionary galactic ingenious idea on the first day. So it's fine if you do not say anything.



  • 2:50 pm: Document


After the meeting, you should document your impressions for yourself. Ten minutes is enough, it is important that you take these notes as soon as possible. Then it continues with your training, the pile should still be big enough.



  • 4:30 pm: Communication


Take the last break of the day for a bit of small talk with your colleagues. Tell something private about yourself or your career so far. Most colleagues will be interested - if they do not ask anyway. But important: Stay ALWAYS positive. In no case may you blaspheme about previous jobs!



  • 5 pm: Feedback


At the end of the day, your boss will probably ask you how your first day's work was. Avoid criticism and concentrate on the positive aspects. Demonstrate where you could use your experience to get to grips quickly and where you still need to get started. Nobody expects a comprehensive analysis from you here. But a little more than "Deli good" may already be.



  • 5:30 pm: Closing time


Congratulations, you have successfully completed your first day at work. Say goodbye to your boss and colleagues and thank you for the help and training. Now you can first arrange and process the new impressions and attractions - and enjoy the end of work. Tomorrow is also a day…