First Day on the Job

The first day at a new job is critical for making the right impression. After all, no office needs another toxic co-worker: the know-it-all, the gossip hound, the death breath guy and the "hey, look at my underwear" lady. Instead, you want to ooze dependability, preparedness, politeness, good grooming and above all, normality.

  1. Get Two Weeks of Restful Sleep Before You Start     You will look better too.  Your mom was right when she told you to get a good night's sleep before your first day of work. You want to be sharp, clear-eyed and preferably awake while you meet dozens of new people, process loads of critical information, choose your network password and figure out the quickest route to the restroom.But what mom didn't know was that one good night of sleep won't make up for three months (or more) of late nights and afternoon naps. You need to re-train your body to keep regular "working" hours. Experts say this requires two weeks of going to sleep at a reasonable time and waking up unreasonably early [source:Vogt]. Stick to this regimen, and soon your internal clock will jibe with the alarm clock -- give or take three smacks of the snooze button.    
  2. Test Drive Route Beforehand    Never had to use this because I came I when I got there, but this works.   Whether you drive, bike, bus or walk to your new job, it's smart to test drive the route before that first important day [source: Huhman]. Google Maps doesn't have a "rush hour" button that will automatically double the time of your daily commute. Plus, traffic is a lousy excuse for being late, since the rest of the office had to battle the same gridlock but still managed to make it in before 9:37. If you take public transportation, have your train/bus arrival and departure times, as well as any transfers you need to make, down pat well before your first day. Do you have to drive to the train or bus station? Master that route as well. Have a back-up plan handy, just in case.
  3. Brown Bag it    The good lunch at the desk thing.  Every office has its own lunch culture. Only a lucky few cubicle slaves still get a leisurely lunch hour. The more common lunch ritual is of the e-mailing-with-one-hand-while-jamming-a-tuna-salad-sandwich-down-your-throat-with-the-other variety. If you're unsure of the lunch scene at the new job, better to brown bag it than get stuck with a vending machine lunch of peanut butter crackers and Mountain Dew. You may end up having lunch with the boss on your first day, but that's no guarantee -- and you may end your first day at work hungry.
    Either way, start your day with a hearty breakfast. You'll need more than your usual coffee and Cap'n Crunch to sustain you through hours of orientation and hand-shaking
  4. Do your homework     An in depth look at the company.   A surefire way to impress your boss on the first day is to show up with a clear understanding of what the company does. Thanks to the Internet, this is a cinch. Read your company's Web site, its clients' Web sites and any recent news articles about them [source: Vogt]. You can even set up an e-mail alert through Google News to notify you when stories hit the press about your employer or your industry in general [source: Weiss]. You don't have to spout out all this info at will, but it will keep you from saying something stupid in front of the higher-ups
  5. Hit the mall    Personally I have always gone for the fine material yet simple & professional.  Even at the most dressed-down workplaces, there is a line between office casual and college bum. It's time to put away your ironic T-shirts, hoodies and flip-flops and invest in some clothes that say, "I'm not the pizza guy."
    Every office has its own definition of appropriate dress. Pay attention to what other people are wearing when you go in for an interview. If you don't remember, you can call the human resources representative at your company and get his or her opinion. You certainly don't want to appear too casual, but you can overdo it the other way as well. You don't want to hear, "Hey, who's the guy in the tux?"
  6. Take notes  Great time saver why people don't do this is beyond me.  The first day is a whirlwind of introductions and meetings. You'll meet four different people named Dan, receive a phonebook-sized packet of information about your healthcare plan and be walked through the simple 30-step process for clearing a paper jam in the copy machine.Take notes; you'll thank yourself later.  
  7. Don't Be Yourself....Yet    Being the new guy can be easier if you read the book at the bottom of the page. The key word for your first day at work is restraint. If you're a naturally bubbly hyper-energetic type, tone it down a notch [source: Grobart]. You don't want to scare people. Likewise, if your default gear is low and slow, have an extra cup of coffee and practice your best fake smile
  8. If You Don't Know...Ask       If your boss puts you on a task, try to get all of the details straight during that first meeting. You won't look stupid -- just attentive and thorough. If you're in the middle of the assignment and something still doesn't make sense, pop your head in the office and clear it up. Again, you look sincere, not slow. If you pop your head in every five minutes, though, you'll get annoying. Get it down as quickly as possible.Here's a question that's music to a manager's ears: "Can I help you with anything?"  Do more than what's asked of you make your self valuable.    
  9. Shut up & Listen   Prevent hitting the glass ceiling. The best way to win people's trust is simply by listening to them [source: Vogt]. Show respect for their opinions and seek feedback on your ideas before presenting them as the new reality [source:CareerBuilder]. When in doubt, bring doughnuts.                   
  10. Get On the Same Page     Learn about Others Personality and Character so that you know how each of your co-workers work.  What they expect without trial and error.  Read  Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types by David Keirsey, Marilyn Bates                                                            Here's what a professor of Purdue University is saying "Do you want to know yourself, and people around you including your rivals or enemies, then you must read it. You will see them as if without clothes, then you can deal with them very well for your merits. Know the person who sits in square table, so that you can deal with him very well. You will love this book. If you read without letting know them that you read it, and then you tell them, "Who you are, and what you want." They will be surprised and ask you, "How dare you know about me that much. I am wondering. blah blah... " 

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