Top 10 Tips: Your First Day of Work

In Career Advice
September 17, 2015

First Day of Work

So, you’ve completed your degree and you’ve landed your dream job in a hospital, clinic, or medical practice. You’ve worked hard for this moment and deserve to feel proud.

Although you’re probably very excited, your first day of work can be nerve-racking.

Before you go in for your first day (or night, if you’re working the late shift), make sure you are fully prepared to do your best and impress your boss and coworkers.

First impressions are everything, and you want to show that you were the right pick for the job!

Your First Day of Work:

1. Plan to Start Early

As you did with your interview, plan at arrive to your workplace about 15 minutes early. This shows that you are organized and eager to start the job.

If you expect a lot of traffic that could cause delays, plan to leave with plenty of time.

If you get to your new job earlier than about 15 or 20 minutes, then take this time to grab breakfast or coffee.

You never want to underestimate traffic patterns and arrive to work late, especially for the first day, so it is better to be extremely early than late.

You can use Google Maps to get an overview of traffic on your first day of work. Just type “traffic near [location]” and it should bring up any accidents or delays in the area.

2. Stay a Little Late

In addition to arriving early, Nerdwallet also advises to plan to stay late.

Bolting for the door at exactly 5 o’clock might rub some people the wrong way and it may be interpreted that you aren’t happy with the position or don’t want to be there.

Take the time at the end of your shift to provide your boss with feedback, ask questions, and follow up with anything.

3. Keep a Positive Attitude

Show up to your first day with a smile and positive can-do attitude.

Be enthusiastic about the position, show that you’re eager to learn, and be friendly to anyone you meet.

This, alone, can go a long way in making a great first impression on those around you, and shows that you’re a team player.

4. Do Your Research

Again, this is something you probably did before your interview(s), but you will want to conduct more in-depth research before the big day.

You should research all aspects of the hospital or practice, if the information is available, and also learn all you can about the doctor or supervisor you will be working under. Knowing their likes and dislikes can help you make a connection with them and easily avoid mistakes.

It pays to be well informed about any situation that might arise during your first day—and week, for that matter!

5. Ask Questions

While you’re learning the ropes during the first day, ask questions. They don’t expect you to know everything, but they do expect you to want to learn.

Don’t be afraid to ask about any and everything that pertains to the job.

It shows you want to be as successful as you can, that you want to do things the right way, and that you are interested in how things are done.

6. Introduce Yourself

Practice introducing yourself the night before.

You should make steady eye contact and present a firm handshake.

You’ll want to come across as confident and friendly to your coworkers and all of the people you’ll meet, especially on the first day of work.

7. Take Notes

Write anything important down!

Taking notes of expectations, goals, and people’s names and positions will make it easier to ask questions about anything you might be unsure of.

When we write things down, we also have a better chance of retaining that information. This will also convey that you’re dedicated to your new position and build confidence with your employer.

8. Practice Good Listening Skills

Good listening skills are essential and will help you excel at your job.

Yes, the first day of work is usually overwhelming, and you are loaded down with a ton of new information, but if you pay attention and show that you remember your coworker’s names, for example, you will seem more likable.

Also, bosses want good listeners as employees, because it shows them that you are able to pay attention and get things done right the first time, which will catapult you into career success.

Even though you may feel bombarded at times, focusing on the task or person in front of you will help filter out any unnecessary distractions.

9. Communicate Professionally

This is vitally important.

Even though you probably demonstrated your professional communication skills for your interviews, you will want to continue to do so while at work.

You should enunciate your words, speak clearly, and avoid mumbling. Make sure your tone of voice is not too loud or soft.

You want to come across as an individual they can rely on to ensure the job gets done.

Although all work place environments differ, depending on the culture, you will want to talk to everyone you encounter in a professional manner.

Wait until you are sure of the culture before using any lingo or slang that may be inappropriate.

It’s advisable to stay conservative with what you say until you’ve had a chance to feel the place out.

10. Show What You Know

Lastly, this is your time to shine!

Be sure to show your employers what you know, and speak up if you have any ideas or comments about something.

The days of the “yes man” are coming to an end, and more employers want to hear the ideas of their employees rather than them simply agreeing with everything.

Constructive criticism is a great thing. Without it, without trying to poke holes in whatever you’re working (metaphorically speaking), it would be much more difficult to find areas of improvement.

They want to see those awesome skills and experience you shared in your interview put to good work.

Well that’s it for this Top 10. Good luck with your first day of work in your new position! 

Be sure to comment below and let us know what you thing of the list. We’re always looking to make our posts better and more useful for the job seekers out there!

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