Do’s and Don’ts for Your First Week at Your New Job

Unfortunately, our first jobs don’t come with guidebooks – how much easier it would be to handle work-related matters if it did! We don’t have a full guidebook for it, but we do have some tips for you for your first week on the job.
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore

The week leading up to your first day of work will likely consist of a mixture of nervousness and excitement. There will be many things to intrigue you in your new role – upcoming projects, new colleagues and a new environment. But in the middle of it all, some etiquette should also be observed, so read on for some tips that’ll see you through your first week of work.

Do: Dress well

Dressing up shows a willingness to invest in your personal outlook and demeanour, and sluggish dressing may give the impression that you’re not serious about your new role. Looking smart, on the other hand shows that you took the time and effort to create a good impression.

It should be remembered that dressing well does not equate buying expensive clothes – stick with attire that suits you best. As such, a reasonably priced dress can look good if the wearer knows her style and what colour complements her. Similarly, shirts and pants, while seemingly plain, can look good if the wearer knows how to choose the right outfit.

You need to be comfortable with what you wear, so consider trying on your outfit the day before to see what you look like in it before your first day at work.

Do: Ask for feedback

Feedback is another way you can monitor your progress and learning curve. Ideally, the person who can take up this role is either your direct supervisor or your department head. Arrange regular meetings with them so that you can continuously tap into and hone your skills.

It is also important to use the feedback given to update your working style. Regularly check if your new approach generates results or not – if not, you have to come up with better ideas and practices.

Ultimately, you will need to be humble enough to seek advice from others with more experience, and who are also willing to guide and mentor you.

Do: Take lunch offers seriously

Lunch outings do a lot to bridge the gap between you and other co-workers; these one-hour breaks actually bring you closer to the people you are expected to form working relationships with. Observe your colleagues as they interact with fellow co-workers and note the topics they bring up during lunch.

If your co-workers offer to take you out for lunch, it means they’re interested in getting to know you – and you should make the effort to get to know them too. Talk with them about their roles in the company, and initiate conversations on unique aspects of their jobs to gain some knowledge of their fields as well.

Don’t: Reveal too much about yourself

This may be a bit difficult for extroverts, especially if you love to engage in conversation, but keep some boundaries in mind and study those around you in the office before disclosing anything about yourself. Your colleagues at work are different from your own circle of friends, so take the time to get to know them before forging any friendships.

Keep conversation to common grounds much like work-related matters, achievements about the company you may have read about, or the culture of the company.

Don’t: Be hard on yourself

In your first job, pulling out all the stops to produce your best work is normal, and certainly admirable. But keep your limits in mind and take care to not over-work and stress yourself. Making mistakes is part of the journey, and over time, you will find yourself getting better and more efficient at your tasks.

Try not to compare yourself with other, more experienced, co-workers in the office, and keep the fact that each colleague had their own learning curve when they first joined the company in mind. Instead, recognise your own individuality and base your daily goals on it.

These are just some suggestions you can adopt at your workplace, pointers you can consider as a new employee in your company. Keep adding your own twist to this list!