Common mistakes people make on their first day
Published: 21 Aug 2017
Becoming the office newbie can be daunting, but as long as you keep a level head, you’ll be fine! In the honeymoon period of a new role, it may feel like everything is flying at you from all directions; it’s your decision as to whether you make the most of that initial rush of energy or shy away and keep your head down – we suggest doing the former! Here are some common mistakes that new employees make and some quick solutions to make your first day a breeze.
Turning up late
If you’re new to the job, you won’t be familiar with the commute nor the twists and turns you could face just to get through the building. Leave plenty of time for the unexpected when you leave the house. If you’re early, you can always grab a coffee in the local café for a quick pick-me-up.
Acting too timid
It’s only natural to be nervous on your first day, but not to the extent that you lose your manners or shrivel up in a corner. Remain open and inviting, and remember: they hired you because you are the best person for the job. Make the most of your first day by asking questions, making friends and joining social events. We’re sure the company will make you feel welcome, anyway.
Coming on too strong
The same, however, could be said about the opposite: coming on too strong. Don’t rush, step back and scope out the company culture before making any rash moves that could, at worst, lead to a less than satisfying nickname! Drawing lines in the sand early between your personal and professional life is a good rule of thumb, but if you sense that your co-workers are just as carefree as you are then let loose!
Bad mouthing your old company
You’ve moved onto bigger and better things, but we suggest that you resist the urge to take to social media or even the new canteen room to release any lingering frustrations you had about your last position, or ex-boss. Not only is it a bit tacky, you could develop a reputation at work as dishonest or disloyal that won’t bode well in the long run.
Not owning up to a mistake
Being the newbie is intimidating, but don’t expect to be perfect. If you make a mistake, own up to it rather than cover it up. Even if your boss doesn’t notice, you’ll show an enormous amount of integrity by coming clean and asking why it was a mistake if it wasn’t immediately obvious – or risk being in a state of paranoia for the duration of the day.
Not taking initiative
Nerves can sometimes override common sense, but don’t let them get in the way of doing the day job. You may not be an intern, expected to make 10 cups of tea a day, but always assume that you should still lend a helping hand. Schedule some one-to-ones with key team members, take a tour of the office, participate in meetings and offer to make drinks – never assume that you can take a back seat on the first day!
Constantly peaking at your phone
We’ll be the first to admit that our generation are tech addicts. In an age of smartphones, with that all-too-familiar flashing light in the corner of our eyes, it can be difficult to lock up our phones and focus on the task at hand. Allocate phone time to your lunch hour and maybe a quick break in the morning or afternoon and make a good impression. Like the majority of the points listed in this guide, adopt this rule past your first day to the whole working year – time to break the habit!
Logging holiday too quickly
Unless your manager asks you about your holiday plans directly, don’t log a break straightaway. Bed in and settle down before you even contemplate going on a jolly, as commitment to the job and enthusiasm are two key traits that your manager will look for in the first month.
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