OK, so now you’ve gone through the interview process, completed your paperwork, and are ready to start your next assignment. There is an old saying “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression”. There have been numerous studies showing that people often make judgments regarding someone they meet for the first time in as little as one tenth of a second. Of course, there are many things about starting a new job that you can’t control, but there are some that you can. Here are a few things that you can do to help you have a more positive experience on that all important first day.
- You probably had at least one interview set up by your temp agency at your new employer’s location. You should have an idea of the general culture there, including how people dress. Hopefully, you took note of that and can dress to help you fit in and gain immediate acceptance by your coworkers. Be a little conservative until you get the “lay of the land”. Once you start to understand the politics of the office, you will get a good idea of the accepted dress code and decide where you fit in.
- Don’t be late. Your first day is very important. And don’t be in a hurry to leave the minute your shift has ended. Say your goodbyes and exit gracefully.
- After you’ve made that first impression, you now must start to interact with your coworkers. Be as pleasant as you can, and smile as often as you can. People will warm up to you much faster if you initiate conversations and have a pleasant demeanor. Feel free to ask anyone for help in doing your job as often as you need to. People love to know that they are of value to someone and will be glad to give you any assistance that you need.
- You’re probably going to be nervous for the first few days. Don’t worry about that; it’s perfectly normal. Just keep a positive mental attitude and be pleasant and approachable. In a few days, you’ll feel like you’re a seasoned veteran. Work on learning everyone’s name. Nothing is more important to a person than to be called by their name.
- Be social and listen to others. One of the fastest ways to win acceptance in the office environment is to listen to others about work related issues and any ideas or opinions they might have. Just be careful not to get too involved in too many personal conversations that may affect your job performance.
Remember, right now this is a temporary situation. However, many temp jobs convert to permanent placements. Even if this particular job does not convert to a full time, long term job, it gives you a chance to add valuable experience to your resume and gain new friends and contacts. You may also want to use your new coworkers and supervisors for references down the road.
Give this assignment the respect it deserves. It can be a valuable building block in your road to success.