How To: Make a Great Impression on Your First Day

  • Dress for Success: On your first day, you want to look polished and professional. After all, this might be the first time you’re meeting many of your coworkers (and perhaps your supervisor, if they weren’t involved in hiring you), so you want to make a great impression. The best advice I have is to opt for an outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in. It’s a good idea to use an older outfit for the first day, just so that you’re familiar with how it looks, feels, and fits. The last thing you want to find out on your first day is that your brand-new skirt is made of incredibly itchy material, or that your beautiful new heels are super painful.
  • Be on Time: Plan on being at work at least 15-25 minutes before you are expected. This will give you some breathing room, in case you run into traffic or other unexpected delays. If you get there early, grab a coffee nearby and collect yourself. I know, personally, I like to do a quick make-up touch-up and smooth out my hair if necessary, since I have a long commute and often, I don’t look the same way I left once I’ve reached my destination.
  • Bring Some Basic Office Supplies: Sometimes, your desk/office/cubicle might be all set up for you, but other times, you might be expected to set it up yourself. It can stressful on your first day to go hunting for basic office supplies, so bring a few pens, pencils, and at least a notepad, just in case.
  • Introduce Yourself: Be friendly, smile and introduce yourself to all of your coworkers. While many supervisors will take you around the office and introduce you to everyone, others might not. So if your supervisor doesn’t make a point to introduce you to your colleagues, be sure that you go ahead and introduce yourself! These people could have valuable advice about adjusting into your new office, so be sure to take advantage of that by being friendly and approachable.
  • Be Proactive: Work might be slow on the first day (or the first few days). If you find yourself bored, be sure to ask around if you can help anyone else with a project. Don’t be annoying, and certainly don’t bug your boss for work, but be proactive about seeing how you can contribute to the office. It will prove that you are enthusiastic about your position and have a great work ethic.

Want more advice on how to impress on your first day at work? Check out the Daily Muse’s article 15 Ways to Impress Your Boss on Day 1.

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