7 Ways to Make a Good Impression on Your First Day at Work

Kickstart your budding career by creating a positive impression on your first day at work.
Carmen Teh
Writer, gradsingapore
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You've sent out multiple job applications, braved through several job interviews, successfully secured a couple of job offers and finally, you made the decision on which job offer to accept.

Now that that’s all over, it’s time for you to prep for another big day – your first day on the job!

Going to work on the first day of your first job can be nerve-wracking. You want to create a good impression at the office among your co-workers, and more importantly, you want your boss to like you.

Here are seven things you can do that will make your colleagues and boss remember you on your first day – and for the right reasons!

1. Be punctual

Get the first thing right by getting to your workplace on time. Showing up late on your first day is one of the worst things you can do. After all, latecomers are often perceived as unreliable. 

Make sure you are well-rested the night before your big day, and of course – set your alarm to a time that will give you ample time to get to your workplace.

2. Prepare an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is not reserved for job interviews or networking events only, it will also come in handy when you have to introduce yourself on your first day of work.

Prepare a concise, 30-second introduction of who you are, when and where you graduated as well as what you majored in. Your new co-workers who are unaware about your employment will most likely ask you about the position you are filling in for as well, so you may want to include that in your introduction too.

3. Get to know people

An important factor in succeeding at a job is to get along with your co-workers. As such, it is never too early to do lay the groundwork for good work relationships with your co-workers.

Utilise your lunch break and get to know people at the office. Ask about what they do and how long they’ve been working at the company. Remember to keep the questions professional, though or you’ll risk making the wrong kind of impression.

4. Ask questions

Expressing curiosity by asking questions related to your position and the company demonstrates that you are truly interested in understanding your job expectations. That said, you want to ask smart questions that are relevant to your job, the industry and company.

Embrace your curiosity. Be open about what is on your mind by suggesting new ideas and methods (in a respectful manner, of course!). And make sure to give some thought to what you’re about to say or ask before actually doing it.

5. Take initiative

Show that you are a proactive person by asking your co-workers or boss if there’s anything you can help them with.

Typically, your first few days on the job would consist of very few tasks, as employers would want newcomers to get a hang of the office dynamics, and also to understand the overall business of the company better.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t extend a helping hand to a co-worker who is swamped with work. If you feel that you are ready for more tasks, you could also speak to your immediate boss to ask for early responsibilities.

6. Remember your colleagues’ name

This might be tricky especially on your first day, but getting your co-workers’ name right will show your effort to know them better.

Once you are sure you got their names right, you can address them by their name. They’ll be pleasantly surprised that you've learned their names so quickly, and will instantly be impressed.

Something like, “Hey Diana, thanks for showing me where the pantry is earlier today. I’ll see you tomorrow,” right before you go home will do the trick.

7. Express gratitude

Just like how you would thank Diana for showing where the office pantry is located to make her feel appreciated (in the above example), you should thank anyone who helped you get acclimated at the office throughout the day.

Before going home, you can also thank your new boss again for giving you the opportunity to join the team.