Is there anything quite as nerve-racking as the first day at a new job? After all of the introductions to new people throughout rounds and rounds of interviews, it’s time for even more first impressions. This supposed to be an exciting time; after all, you got the job! Unfortunately, for many new hires, the uncertainty of starting a new job can be just as stressful as the job search itself.
Who are you expected to meet on day one? What do you say to them?
Thankfully, for those who are nervous about starting off on the wrong foot, a little bit of preparation can go a long way. While no two employees are exactly the same, odds are everyone will meet at least a few standard types of roles, from CEO to Gossiper-in-Chief, on day one. Here are five people new hires are bound to meet on the first day at a new job:
In many organizations, the person who guides newly hired employees through their first days on the job is a human resources professional. This person can be a helpful resource for asking some foundational questions, such as where you’ll be working in the office, company policies and inquiries about pay and benefits. It can be helpful to come prepared with personal forms, like social security and other household information, if you’re required to fill out new hire paperwork with a human resources representative, as well.
Your Work Neighbor(s)
After getting through the first hellos and the basic lay of the land, employees will typically be shown to their work stations. Depending on the type of work being done and the workplace itself, the physical space can vary greatly. However, whether you’ll be working in an open office, cubicle or private room, you’ll almost certainly have coworkers working nearby. Be sure to introduce yourself to them! More likely than not, these will be the people you see the most during a typical work day, so it pays to start building relationships early.
Bonus Tip: Make note of how the work spaces around yours are laid out. How are things organized? What types of technology are employees using? Are there a lot of personal items placed around these spaces? A quick scan can give you ideas of how to set up your own space in a way that matches the company culture.
As new employees make the rounds of handshakes, the hope is that they’ll meet a sampling of all of the roles in the organization (if not everyone, depending on company size.) While not a formal role, every office comes equipped with at least one Gossiper-in-Chief. This is the type of employee that, at best, will act as a connector for different teams across the organization, sharing stories that deepen the corporate culture. At worst, gossipers can help to cultivate a toxic environment built on hearsay.
While it’s important to be courteous to everyone you meet when starting at a new job, be sure to take advice from these individuals with a grain of salt. While rumors do have power when it comes to workplace dynamics, it’s important to take this information at face value (especially when this information is overly negative.) Remember, while you may be getting the saucy scoop today, you might just wind up being tomorrow’s topic of discussion!
When the time comes, meeting your new boss should be an exciting experience! This is the person who you’ll be working with to drive company and personal career goals, so take advantage of your time together. By now, employees should have had a few discussions with their boss and teammates throughout the hiring process. While a lot of those discussions may have been centered around past experiences, now’s the time to shift into a forward thinking mindset. Don’t be shy to ask questions about daily workflow and expectations for the role. When in doubt, listen, learn and take notes. The most important thing is to show excitement and an eagerness to learn!
Your Boss’s Boss
After getting better acquainted with your boss, you may be able to meet individuals even higher on the ladder than that. If you find yourself meeting someone like the CEO on your first day, the most important thing to remember is to relax. Those leading the company want you to succeed, too! This is another opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the job. To take things a step further, consider preparing a question or two to ask if given the opportunity. Inquiring about how the company was built or the direction of a certain project can show that you’ve done your homework prior to day one on the job!
The first day at a new time can be stressful, but most of those negative feelings come from a place of uncertainty. By preparing for the potential people you’ll be meeting along the way, you can build confidence before even stepping foot in the office!
What types of employees have you met on the first day at a new job? Share your stories about first impressions in the comments below!