5 Things Not to Do on Your First Day of Work

Yay!  All your work has finally paid off!  You got the job!  Now you all you have to do is keep it!  You need to impress your manager right from the beginning.  You definitely don’t want to start out on the wrong foot.  Here are some things that you should never do on your first day on the job:

Keep to yourself.  Your coworkers are making quick judgements about who you are and how you will fit in with the team.  Learn as many names as you can and make an effort to get to know the people you will be working with.

Talk too much.  You need to start building relationships, but don’t forget that you’re the new kid in town.  Keep a fairly low profile until you have a deeper understanding of the organizational culture.

Join in on office politics.  Workplace dynamics can be complicated.  If you allow yourself to be drawn into office politics, you will almost definitely regret it.  As a new employee (who is probably on probation) you do not want to be fighting someone else’s battles.  Be friendly and professional to everyone and just stay out of it.

Criticize anything.  When you’re learning the office procedures, you may be tempted to chime in with complaints or ideas of how things can be improved.  Don’t do it.  As a new employee, your job is to listen and learn.  After you’ve worked with the company for a while and gained some credibility, people will be more willing to listen to you.

Take too many breaks.  Your manager and coworkers are watching you more closely than you might realize.  Make sure that you give them the right impression.  Don’t take any more breaks than you are entitled to and don’t answer your cell phone or send text messages while you are supposed to be working.

When it comes right down to it, the key is to behave professionally at all times.  If you’re not sure if you should be doing something, you probably shouldn’t.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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