May 21, 2014

5 tips for your first day of work

Long time no post…I've been very busy these past few days! This past weekend I spent really unplugging and relaxing, but also working on some projects for my company & doing some bucket list items. And Sunday night, I was getting prepared to start my new internship on Monday! In my grad program, all students are required to have a summer internship, and I am so excited about mine. 

The job combines government, education, policy, and communications - all of my passions! I'm grateful for this new experience, but of course starting anything new is a challenge. My first day of work was great and I wanted to share a few of the things I remember when starting a new job. I also did these when I started my job in the governor's office last year; they really do make a difference!

5 things to remember on your first day of work

1. Arrive early | I cannot stress this one enough! Being late on your first day is the worst first impression. Being on time is expected. And being early makes a statement. I typically aim to arrive 30 minutes early on my first day because I never know if traffic will be awful, if I will get lost, or if some random obstacle will pop up and slow me down. I walked into my new job about 10-15 minutes early and got to get acquainted with the office and chat with some staff members before my supervisor arrived.

2. Introduce yourself in a friendly, yet confident way | On your first day you will stick out because no one in the office knows you. Use this to your advantage and as a talking point as you interact with people throughout the day. It's great if you know your position and department so that you can include that in your introduction. For example, "Hi, I'm Vett and I'm the new X Position in the X Department." People usually appreciate a new face in the office and may have a pearl of wisdom to share.

3. Be an active learner/ if you have a question, ask | Whenever I start a new job, the first day is a flood of new information. It's almost impossible to process all of it during the first day, so I take in as much as I can and find ways to break down the information. On my first day, I read through the provided materials, but I also went to my new company's website and read the information there as well to make more sense of the work I will be doing. Being an active learner also means asking questions when you have them. I've learned that your boss/co-workers prefer you asking a question and doing it right instead of making a huge mistake. And once you observe and learn how things work, take initiative to apply your knowledge and show what you've learned!

4. Stay on task | It's very tempting to want to tweet/insta/etc. about your new job while you're at your new job, but this is a big mistake…especially on day 1! It's much better to get your social media and internet browsing out of the way before work, on your lunch break, and once you're off work. Stay focused and on task while you're at work. It helps to put your cell phone on silent and stay off non-work websites, including your personal email. More than likely, someone will check on you to see how your day is going and it's an awful first impression to be caught texting/surfing the web instead of working.

5. Dress appropriately | Until you know the company's culture and dress code, play it safe and wear business casual or professional clothing. I wore a nice top, a matching sweater, black slacks and black flats on my first day. And I was happy to see others wearing similar outfits. As time progresses, you'll be able to add more of your personal style to your work wardrobe, but on day 1, let your work make the greatest statement.

Interviewing for a job soon? Check out my popular interviewing tips!

If you have a good tip for the first day of work, leave a comment below!


  1. thanks a really useful post , i remember my first day , ahhh i was late :(
    keep in touch

  2. These are great tips, I follow them all... I am one of those silly people who love interviews and excel when I get one... I am quite comfortable in them... people are always how do you do that? I just do :)

  3. Very good tips indeed. Especially arriving early and dressing appropriately. Sometimes a first impression goes a long way.

  4. I only been truly late to work once (not my first day), construction delay and an accident caused a traffic jam.

  5. Great list Vett! Once again, you nailed it on the head.

    I'm so excited for you with this summer intern. I know you'll do well, as always.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

    Eesh | The Other Side of Paradise

  6. Great list! Arriving early is so important! My sisters co-worker arrived late all the time when he first got hired and he ended up getting fired.

  7. Great tips and I agree with every single one!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  8. Good luck with the new internship Vett. These are great tips, especially number 5. I definitely love bright colors and fashion but on my first day I stuck to the basics until I realized what the office was all about.

  9. these tips are on point! such great advice. I'm in the process of interviewing so hopefully I'll get to use these tips in the very near future *fingers crossed*
    xx ani || the ani project

  10. great tips! i was super nervous my first day of work! but i know u are going to kill it girl! and don't be nervous be excited and confident!

    XO Meghan
    citrus fashion

  11. Great tips, thank you!! I'm looking for a new job in LA & will definitely use these tips when I get my new job!! :) I'll also check out your interview tips again as a refresher!

    xo, B

  12. Great tips Vett!



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