how to: have a fabulous first day
So you’re about to start a new job. Congratulations! Your first day is drawing closer and you’re a bit nervous about making a good impression and a whole host of other things. Will they like you? Will you know what to do? What will the work be like? Don’t worry or stress about it all. Take a few deep breaths and read our top tips to having a fabulous first day to give you the happiest start.
1. Plan ahead
First up, think about what you’re going to wear – check the dress code, first (do you have any branded clothes the nursery wants you to wear?) – and make sure you’re well presented. Remember, people will be meeting you for the first time and making immediate judgements, and you want to make sure you fit in. Jeans and trainers won’t sell your professionalism.
2. Say cheese!
Everyone likes a friendly, smiley new starter so try and flash your pearlies a few times. No need to grin all day but smiling will relax you and the people you’re talking to as well.
3. Be confident
Everyone feels nervous on their first day. You don’t know anyone and you might have a lot to learn, so it’s to be expected. Don’t show you’re scared. Be friendly and show you’re keen to get started and learn. Nobody expects you to know everything on your first day!
4. Make introductions
Your manager’s likely to introduce you around but if you bump into people in the staff room you don’t recognise make sure you say hi and introduce yourself. Even if people work in different rooms, chances are you’ll work with them in the future and it always pays to be friendly.
5. Remember names
There’s nothing more awkward than forgetting someone’s name. Nobody remembers all the names of all the people they meet on their first day – you can even make a joke of it as you’re introduced: ‘Sorry if I forget your name, I’ve met about a hundred people today, but it’s really lovely to meet you!’ for example. People won’t mind. If, after a couple of weeks and several reminders you STILL don’t remember then that’s when the joke wears a bit thin.
6. If you’re not sure, ask
They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question. It’s best to ask as much as you can in your first couple of weeks. Your boss and colleagues won’t mind – they were in your shoes once – and they’ll be glad you’re showing an interest. Just don’t ask the same question over and over again. Pick things up quickly and ‘stupid’ questions will soon be forgotten.
7. Nobody likes a know-it-all
Trying to tell your colleagues their job isn’t a good way of endearing yourself to the team. Get settled first and if you still have ideas for general improvements through the nursery then ask your manager if you can share your ideas with them.
8. Know your place
Your manager should talk you through the structure of all the staff in the nursery on your first day. You need to know who your manager is, and their boss too. If you’re aware of exactly where you sit within the team you’ll be able to avoid any awkward foot-in-mouth moments.
9. Hot gossip
Don’t get involved in gossip on your first day. Every setting has politics and people who like – and indeed dislike – each other. You don’t want to get a reputation for a gossip or a backstabber, so it’s best to avoid letting your guard down straight away. Just subtly change the subject if you feel gossip brewing.
10. Have fun!
Your first day should be a happy experience. You won’t necessarily have a lot of work to do yet and you’re able to get to know people and the new setting. Don’t be so stressed that you forget to enjoy yourself!