How not to make an April Fool of yourself in your first week of work

The first week of a new job is exciting: new people, new places, new ways of doing things, and a chance to introduce yourself to lots of people. However, to avoid becoming known around the company for the wrong reasons, you will want to quickly get to grips with the culture. The social values, norms and unwritten rules of a workplace are what make up its ‘culture’ and every company is different. Here are the top five things to consider in your first week and beyond:

1. Know the Basics

Can you clearly describe what the business does? Can you say what your job role is in a line? These things might sound obvious, but sometimes it can be hard to articulate yourself when put on the spot, and this can be really embarrassing. Make sure you find time to write down key information regarding the business, your role and anything else you might need to talk about on a daily basis. Confidently talking about these things will make a great first impression – awkward silences, and lots of umms and ahhs can be slightly less appealing…      

2. Dress the Part

It may seem self-explanatory, but how you dress is very important. Hopefully you have a feel for the type of environment you are walking into from your interview process, but if not, look for pictures of employees on the company website to get a better idea. You may be expected to wear a specific uniform, or style of clothing, so this is worth checking. Sometimes jeans are fine, but sometimes blazers and your smartest shoes are a must, so it’s worth making sure. More advice on what to wear, here

3. Email Etiquette

If you’re working in an office, group emails are an easy way to show everyone something informative or interesting at the same time. Until you have been in the office a while it can be tricky to know how formal or informal group emails are and who actually receives them. To avoid embarrassment, never send something that could be considered offensive and leave any risky comedy for your friends outside the workplace. No matter how funny that latest cat video you’ve seen is, you’re probably best off not sending it to everyone you work with! To put your email etiquette to the test, check out our Send the right message challenge.

4. Consider Conversations

It’s really important to make an effort to get to know work colleagues personally and start conversations when you can. However, talking about anything inappropriate or too personal might turn heads for the wrong reasons. So keep conversations clean and friendly.  

5. Don’t Go Overboard

There might be social occasions, and when there are, hopefully they’ll be good fun! This is a great way to learn more about the team in a more relaxed environment, helping you build relationships which could advance your career. However, just because you’re not at work, it doesn’t mean your professional standards should drop – try not to get too loud, too opinionated or too personal. Enjoy yourself, but try to listen and observe more than anything, at least to begin with. For more advice on building relationships at work, click here

The idea isn’t to stop being yourself at work. These tips should help you find the right balance, settle in seamlessly and hopefully steer clear from any of those potential awkward moments.

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