1. Show up on time. Usually, a supervisor or current employee will set a specific start time for your first day. Obviously, you shouldn’t be late, but it’s not a good idea to come in early either. Training and accommodating a new employee takes a big chunk out of a supervisor’s day, so you want to give her the time to respond to emails or whatever she does in the morning before you interrupt her workflow. After day one, show up on time -- and if you’re an assistant, try to get there 15 minutes early for a few months. It will demonstrate dedication and earn you a promotion much more quickly.
2. Dress up. Treat your first day like you’re going in for a job interview. You clearly made a good impression with the outfit you wore to your interview, so if you dress similarly, you’ll maintain that image in your supervisor’s mind. After the first couple of days, you can dress more casually (if it’s in line with the company dress code).
3. Take notes. Always carry around a notebook with you and write everything down. Supervisors do not like to repeat themselves, and you’ll be able to avoid this problem entirely if you’ve taken good notes. Plus, you’ll come across as prepared, organized, and driven -- if your new boss notices you scribbling down every word she says, she’ll think that you really care about your new position and want to do great work.
4. Meet other employees. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible on your first day -- it will help you make friends in the office and will ensure that people know who to approach when looking for information from your department. Your boss or another team member will likely introduce you to some other key employees, but go beyond that and talk to everyone you come across in the elevator, kitchen, or other informal settings. Sometimes your biggest allies are the people you meet on your first day.
These guidelines are all about setting up an image of a person that’s organized, responsible, polished, motivated, and friendly. If you follow the rules, you’re sure to have a great first day. And if you want to further solidify that impression, bring in donuts or cookies for your fellow employees at the end of your first week.