Title Card - My First Day

My First Day: Settling In At Work

Each company has different hiring procedures, which may result in a longer process than others. Some companies might hire you after a chance encounter with the hiring manager in a coffee shop determines that you’re exactly the kind of person they’re looking for. Other companies have a much more rigorous hiring process, occasionally requiring two or three rounds of interviews with different representatives in the hierarchical chain before your fate is determined.

I have experienced the latter once before, when working for an upscale jewellery company. In my current job as a content writer, however, it ended up being a very different story. Within two or three days of submitting my application, I received a call from the hiring manager. After a few of the usual questions you might expect from a take-in phone interview, I was asked to show what I was made of and write two blogs for them in a short amount of time. They told me that they were looking to fill the position in a very short amount of time, and it only took a week to move from my application submission to the first day on the job.

When you’re going in for your first day, knowing how to dress can be occasionally tricky, but I always suggest you should be over-prepared. It is always better to make a good impression on your first day and dress for success, and if you feel you need to make some adjustments later, you can do so. Come in looking your best, and you will always get off on the right foot.

The first day at the office can be nerve-wracking, but it can be especially difficult in a pandemic situation. When I first started my job, Canada had just moved into their final stages of reopening after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Things were still uncertain, and working indoors was always a challenge. I always recommend having the person taking care of you on that day show you around, and see what your work environment is like. For myself, I was especially concerned about the ongoing pandemic, and wanted to be sure that I would be safe while working in the company. They were very kind and showed me their distancing practices, mask requirements, temperature checks at the door, and cleaning strategies to ensure everyone stayed as safe as possible.

Next came the paperwork. With any new job, they need to know that you agree to their rules and guidelines, including but not limited to general health and safety rules, workplace harassment, and an understanding of how their pay structure and benefits work. Take your time with this paperwork. It may be tedious to go through what feels like boring legal papers, but it is not there to fool you. They want to be sure you are fully aware of everything on those pages, and should be more than happy to answer any questions you have going in. You should feel comfortable putting your signature on the paperwork they put in front of you.

After all the paperwork was signed, I was shown to my desk and my new supervisor. We got along very well right off the bat, but keep in mind that you may not get an initially friendly manager. That is okay, so long as you put in honest work and show that you are putting in your best effort, most people should warm up to you well. The training for my particular position was fairly simple, showing me the systems that they use and their filing systems for each piece I write, as well as how to keep track of what is completed in their spreadsheets. They set up my email for me so that I could receive new information from the rest of the office and helped me to set that up as well. Very quickly, I was off to the races and already started on writing my first pieces.

After about a month, I am still asking lots of questions and orienting myself to how they like to run. Paying attention to the flow of the work getting done is crucial, and not being afraid to talk to the people around you to see what they do and how they integrate. I am always eager to learn new things, so I take as much training as they are willing to give me, and I am always excited for new challenges thrown my way. The learning never stops, not after a month, not even after several years.

Each experience you have will be unique, and there is no single right way to having a successful first day. Generally speaking, you should come in dressed well with whatever they request you bring for your first day. Listen carefully and go over everything they ask you to sign in great detail to understand what they are asking for you to sign. Don’t ever feel pressured to sign something you don’t want to sign. Finally, you should always be learning, looking to others for insights, learning the ins and outs of the business, and finding out how you fit into the larger piece of the puzzle. Gain acquaintances, make your mark, and show your stuff.

The first day will likely make you nervous, and that’s okay. Everyone gets nervous. Just remember, you are in the driver’s seat. After all, they hired you for your skills and your expertise, now is your opportunity to show them off.

You were hired for good reason. Make the most of it and shine.