My first day at work was as a graduate temp in Housing at a council near Sheffield. I had just done a post grad course in Housing ,and some of the staff had worked at the office for over 30 years ! I have had a few other first days too …so her are my practical ideas both from an employee and helping your new employer …point of view !
My tips would be
-ask for a clear plan of what you will be expected to do on your first day/week etc
-think ( from your interview prep ,what you might be expected to deliver in your first week /month /6 months )
-think about what you need to know , to help you do your job well …could you make a list and find out yourself , as you may not get a formal induction for some time and you can fill any lulls with researching this sort of info.
-don’t be afraid to ask again. You will hear so much in your first few days ! Make the most of being a newbie !
-plan some practical things you can do in any lulls , good chance to look at staff intranet, work the copier, help other staff etc , before you get overloaded with WORK !
– this will help other staff ,if they are really busy ,and have not been fully briefed on your role !!
-pretend that you are the CEO of the company , and on Undercover Boss …what can you learn on your first day that will help you improve the business or your performance ! keep it to share at the appropriate time !
– walk around the building and look at who works where, really useful …some staff never leave their offices and like to meet people in person !!
-reception ,caretakers and contact center staff are really useful contacts !
-you can choose what you tell people ,so keep some back for later
-Treat yourself and buy yourself a smart looking a4 spiral notepad and take notes/ weblinks all day ,so you can refer back , you will have so may things to remember !
-ask open questions ie without a yes or no answer!
-ask appropriate questions open plan offices are more challenging !
-people love talking about their kids and pets and what they do in their time outside work !!!
-on my first day I asked people what exactly they did,why they liked it ,who i could ask for help and any tips I should know for working at XX and what they would improve if they had a magic wand ?
-people really like being asked for their advice and help on what to do …so take advantage whist you are new .Practice asking in an assertive not pathetic way and they will respect you for it !
-hear everything , no comments and never gossip !
– listen really carefully to what they tell you !
-as an existing employee it is sometimes really scary to have a high flying graduate whizz kid arrive in post. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you might come across ! How could you help them with out appearing patronising ? Eg one of my staff members is a whizzo on excel and word , she offers to help ,and I am happy to go to her and ask without feeling stupid ,and it saves lots of time for me ,as once she has showed me i soon understand !
-staff who have been in post a long time can offer feedback on your new ideas ,as they have probably been tried by someone before !!This insight is invaluable !
-you can choose who you like !!
-who could you ask to go to lunch with ?
– have a back up plan for lunch time , go for a walk and re-energise !
-do you know what social events they hold / find out who are the key people and how to get involved
-Enjoy yourself !!
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