The first day at a new job can be both exciting and terrifying. With all those emotions rushing through your head, the pressure of doing well and making a great impression can be tough. While you want to make sure your new boss will be impressed with you, you can’t forget about your new family, your coworkers, as well.
It’s important to do your best. Your first week can set the tone for your performance and attitude for the duration of your role. And don’t think that people won’t notice! That’s why we’re helping you out with this list of do’s and don’ts on your first week to get you started.
Being humble can go a long way. Even if you think you know what you’re supposed to do, it’s best to absorb and observe. Use this first week as your time to learn as much as you can about how things are done. Keep in mind that every organization is different, and how you did things at another job may not apply here. So, kick back and listen, take notes if necessary, and if something is unclear ask questions. It's better to get a clear perspective rather than shoot in the dark.
It’s easy to overcompensate when you’re new to a role. This could be either by giving up all your time covering too many hours or being overly nice in helping out your coworkers. Balance is key! As well as the other people on your team, you need to be sure that you’re happy on the job before you take on more responsibility. Don’t overcompensate to impress your boss and coworkers at your detriment.
Don’t be shy. You’ll be taught a ton of things in your first week, but you won’t be sure if you can do it all yourself unless you give it a go. If you’re shadowing someone while they’re selling to someone, you can participate by bringing over a piece that the customer might like! If someone is teaching you how to man the cashier, ask if you could put through the next sale. There are so many ways you can get involved, and there’s no easier way to show initiative by putting your hand up to participate while people can help you out. Make sure you always ask questions too! You should be in learning mode – even if you’ve done it before.
It can be really difficult to maintain a strong composure all the time, especially if your job requires you to constantly talk to people. But it’s important to stay professional and not lose your cool. Regardless of whether it’s a difficult customer or a coworker who isn’t doing their job, you’re responsible for your actions. For every situation, there is a way to handle it positively without unleashing a bout of anger. If you are upset and you need to confront someone, try some deep breathing exercises and return to the conversation when you have a cool head.
A healthy work environment is one where everyone can get things done without creating a scene. Communication is key to ensuring you and your coworkers will be on the same page at all times, creating a strong foundation for a good relationship. Being friendly with your coworkers will make your time working thrice as enjoyable, so take the time to make conversation and get to know each other. You won’t regret it!
It’s okay to accept help when it’s needed, but it isn’t great to rely completely on your coworkers to get things done. If you’re busy, there’s a high chance your coworkers will be just as occupied. If you’re constantly asking for help with the same task, ask someone to teach you. If you’re still finding yourself buried with things to do and team members always need to go out of their way to assist you, perhaps this is something you need to flag with your manager. The result could be the need for a new hire or perhaps a review on your work and whether there are processes you could learn how to do more efficiently.
Try keep your first week as flexible as possible. There’s a high chance that you could be asked to come in another day for a training shift, a busy holiday or to cover if someone is sick. Besides work, perhaps your coworkers always organize for a Thursday dinner together or another staff event. While you’re still learning how this new company operates, it’s best to keep your first week flexible. You should also try to be flexible with your responsibilities. If someone asks you to help with something you haven’t done before, say yes! This is your time to learn so take advantage of every learning opportunity you can get (within reason of course).
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed in your first week when you’re learning a lot of new tasks and responsibilities. But don’t let it get to your head because you can easily lose yourself in a spiral of negative emotions. Remember that your coworkers are also there to help and they’ve done the same uphill battle. If you’re struggling to remember everything, write notes of the tasks you need to complete and how to do them. This could simply be some short dot-points on your phone. Don’t give up! Each shift will get a whole lot easier with practice, and you’ll see yourself perfecting these tasks as you go along. The first week is always the hardest
Constructive criticism is important. Whenever you’re taught something new, make sure another coworker is observing you so you can ask for feedback afterwards. This is really important if you want to improve! For example, it’s easy to think that you’ve nailed a sale process because the customer purchased a few items. But an experienced coworker might suggest a few other items you could’ve presented to them, or a greeting that would warm up the customer faster. You never know what you’re missing out on until you ask for feedback. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to improve.
Let’s face it. There are always responsibilities which suck. Since you’re new, chances are you’ll be the one who has to do a bulk of them. Try your best to be a good sport and know that this is like a rite of passage if you will, once you’re more experienced you can pass the more menial tasks to the next person. Hopefully these do’s and don’ts will give you a taste of what you’ll experience on the job. Let us know how your first week went!