Posts Tagged ‘New Career’

Getting that First Day Behind You

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Remember that first day of school when you were six? The night before, you couldn’t sleep and you were up and dressed (likely for the last time until you graduated high school) long before the alarm clock went off. It’s the same feeling as you eagerly anticipate your first day in your new career. So much to look forward to and so much you want to accomplish; you want to make a good impression while not shoving your foot down your throat in the process. Overwhelming, right? “Maybe a little”, says career coach and founder A. Harrison Barnes. “It’s natural to feel apprehension and in fact, it’d be surprising if you didn’t experience a bit of anxiety”. So, what does Barnes suggest?

“Your first day’s not the right time to make a statement or to draw attention, or at least, the wrong attention”, says the founder. This means you don’t want to take a risk with your choice of clothing. Dress conservatively. Odds are, you were able to get an idea of what the dress code was (if you weren’t told during your orientation). And even if you’re not sure, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you anticipate tours and long periods of time on your feet, women should consider a more moderate heel and steer clear of those backbreaking higher heels. Also, the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable; be sure you choose clothes that fit you well and are in good repair. It’s distracting if you’re wondering if anyone notices that button missing from your shirt sleeve cuff.

Another tip A. Harrison Barnes suggests is to speak up. No one expects you to know the intricacies of the company the first day (or even the first month). If you’re asked to report to the conference room, instead of roaming the halls and risk showing up late for the meeting, simply ask which way to the conference room. No one is going to bite you or roll their eyes or even send you on the wrong route, says Barnes.

Finally, and this tip is good whether you’ve been on the job ten minutes or ten years, do your best to steer clear of the office gossip and office politics. Sure, you don’t want to alienate anyone, but you also don’t want to become your own worst enemy either. Most office dynamics have definitive lines drawn and there’s always the office clown, the office gossip, the office cheater…and on and on. Your goal is to do your job and do it well. Resist the temptation to get involved. Once someone notices you paying attention to a conversation, you’re sure to get drawn in. It’s just human nature.

Finally, the day’s over and you’ll be able to return home fully exhausted from the long day and having gotten little sleep the night before. You’ll also not be as stressed that second day as your first day proved to be.