The first day in the new job: 8 Do's and Don'ts

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The first day in the new job is always exciting. Just as a young colleague, it is said to keep balance between sovereign and authentic appearance. A few tips will help you avoid the biggest faux pas.

Welcome - the first day in the new job

Here writes for you:


Olaf Kempin univative Olaf KempinOlaf Kempin is founder and co-owner of univativ. 


1. On time, but not too early

First, of course, apply the basics of the old school. Point one is punctuality. Do not be too late, but not more than 15 minutes too early, so as not to put pressure on others.

2. The dress code

A well-groomed appearance is the basis for a good impression and is a matter of course in professional life. Choosing the right outfit is tricky. Ideally, you should ask about the dress code and certain rules, such as Casual Friday, before your first day. If in doubt, choose a little “more business” from your wardrobe than not enough. A formal appearance is better than inappropriate, casual clothes, especially on the first day. Men can also take off a tie in the office if necessary. Women should rely on natural makeup and subtle styling.

Important: Remember that the best dress does not help if you feel tired. Tired eyes and lack of concentration make a bad impression on the first day. It is embarrassing when you ask questions that have just been answered. So make sure you have enough sleep.

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3. How do I introduce myself?

What is his name again? We know this from ourselves - not everyone will immediately remember the name of “the new”. That is why it is always helpful and polite to introduce yourself with your first and last name. The other way around, you can remember other people's names better by repeating them: If you get to know someone, you can speak to him or her several times in the conversation (of course not after every sentence!). This makes it easier for you to remember later - and as an attentive listener you leave a positive impression.

For small offices, it is part of greeting every employee in the room with a handshake. For open-plan offices, a greeting is enough. In any case: Long explanations to your own person or even a breakdown of what you have done before, is superfluous and is not expected. Rather, it offers a relaxed small talk, which can start with light topics such as the weather, the view from the office or the parking situation.

4. To use the informal or the formal "you?

No matter how hip or young the average of the company is - on the first day in a new job, it is not a good idea to give all new colleagues a flat rate. A "you" can be felt too rude too quickly. Just wait and see, you are usually offered quickly. In general, you shouldn't wait with greetings - if you don't approach others, you will quickly become unappealing.

5. The lunch

Even if it is difficult: take the initiative! Do not wait for someone to invite you for lunch. Just ask a couple of colleagues where they are going to eat and if they will take you with them. In the canteen, one can also ask at the table of colleagues, if one may sit down. Nobody will resent you, so do not be false!

In the long run one should not always have lunch with the same colleagues - that builds contacts and relationships with others.

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6. The starting point: sparkling wine or cake?

The bottle of sparkling wine on the first day? Or would you rather bring a cake? First of all, it is important to choose the right time. The idea of ​​a debut is not necessarily to put cakes and that's it. Rather, the goal is a relaxed atmosphere for a short exchange with colleagues. The right time is very individual. The personal trainer and author Susanne Helbach-Grosser recommends the debut after about four weeks if you feel accepted. Of course, this can vary a lot, so you should decide the time according to your gut feeling - if you have already got to know your colleagues and have warmed up with them.

It is best to discuss the time and duration of your debut with your supervisor. The easiest way to ask which frame is customary in the company - usually half an hour is usual. He can tell you when most of the team is in the office.

The best thing to do is to make the best start to your colleagues. What you bring is left to you. The scope depends on job level. Only alcohol is prohibited during working hours and is therefore not the ideal choice. Rather be used bread rolls, pizza or coffee and cake.

7. Questions and ideas

Pleas e ask your question! Use the first few days for supposedly "stupid questions", because there aren't any, especially at the beginning. Take care of a notepad on the first day and write down questions that cannot be answered immediately, as well as important details - which primarily include processes and names.

If you have ideas, do not be afraid to introduce them. But - think of the right dosage and a corresponding formulation! Wisecrackers quickly get into the fat!

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8. The end of work

You do not have to stay longer - that could be a bit over-motivated. On the other hand, thanks to the colleagues who have introduced you and put their work at the side of your back will be more sympathetic.

A good connection to the colleagues and the quick familiarization lay the foundation for a good working atmosphere in the future and naturally take more than a single day. The most important Success Factors are being authentic and polite, attentive and motivated.

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