January 18, 2008, Newsletter Issue #62: How to Handle Your First Day

Tip of the Week

The first day on your job is always nerve-racking. There will be plenty of policies, politics, and people introduced to you that will have you feeling overwhelmed. More than likely, you will go through an orientation class. It may be for a few hours or few days. You will be given a corporate employee manual. Either way, there will still be unanswered questions. These questions arise from the unspoken word. So, here are some points to take into consideration to properly prepare you for your first day on the job.

Parking: You notice that there is a company parking lot. All spaces are unmarked. Is there a certain area you are to park in or not? There may be an unspoken company rule regarding this. You need to ask to be safe.

Building and/or Floor Access Cards: How do you get an access card? Where is it used? How is it used? How does a company access card differ from a visitorís access card? Many times this question needs to be answered before you enter the building the first time. Ask your supervisor when you receive your job offer.

Bring your own lunch the first day. You wonít be familiar with territory eateries yet. Also, your first day schedule may be too hectic to go out for lunch. Play it safe and brown bag it to begin with. That way you wonít have to rely on others.

Dress conservatively. Until you can be sure of your work environment and surroundings, play it safe and dress in what is known as business casual. Men: pastel cotton shirt and pants, polished shoes. Women: pastel shirt and either pants or skirt, polished shoes.

Locate the rest rooms. The importance of this doesnít have to be stated.

Locate the employee break room. This will be the room where you more than likely start the day, have your lunch, and take breaks.

Find out if management or employees pay for coffee and beverages. Companies differ on this point. Ask to be certain.

Learn the office and/or building set-up. This includes: whose office is where, where departments are located, what is on each floor, where elevators are, where files are.

Locate the fire exits and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Learn the emergency exits and evacuation procedures.

Having these items in mind your first day on the job will make it easier on you. Good luck!

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