Posted on 07/29/2021


What should you do on your first day of work?

To help new hires navigate their first day of work, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From getting to know your supervisor to reviewing company policies, there are several tips that may help you better navigate your first day of work. 

Here are nine things you should do on your first day of work:  

  • Pass Along a Sign of Gratitude
  • Clarify Your Duties and Responsibilities 
  • Ask In-Depth Questions
  • Get to Know Your Supervisor
  • Set Goals for Yourself
  • Grab Lunch With Someone
  • Learn the Office Landscape
  • Arrive at Work Early
  • Review Company Policies

Pass Along a Sign of Gratitude  

Send out handwritten thank you notes. Your first day of work is usually filled with training to prepare you for the new role, and showing your new coworkers appreciation for all their insight is a great way to start your new career. A handwritten note can be the start to long-lasting relationships with your coworkers and help you integrate into the team environment.

David Wachs, Handwrytten

Clarify Your Duties and Responsibilities  

On my first day of work, I will sit down and talk with my immediate supervisor and get a crystal clear understanding on my duties and responsibilities as well as the expectations the boss and the company has from me. Then I will talk to members of my team and get clear on what they do and how that affects my own duties and responsibilities. Finally, based on the aforementioned conversations, I will set goals for myself. I will do my best to set weekly and monthly goals, and hold myself accountable for achieving these goals.

Phillip Lew, C9 Staff

Ask In-Depth Questions

First days can be nerve-wracking. You may want to impress everyone, but keep in mind, it’s your first day. You won’t know all the ropes just yet. Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions. By asking some more in-depth questions during your orientation period, you show that you’re curious, willing to learn, and that you want to do your best in your position. 

Sundip Patel, LendThrive

Get to Know Your Supervisor

On your first day of work, get to know your supervisor. This is the person you will be reporting to and in close contact with. I am thankful to be comfortable talking to my supervisor at any time. When I’m unsure about a task, it makes a big difference to feel at ease asking him questions and brainstorming ideas together. Teamwork promotes success!  

Sophia Orlando, Markitors

Set Goals for Yourself

The first day of work can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re focused on trying to hit the ground running on day one while also learning the ropes of your new position. It’s important to take time for yourself to reflect on what you hope to accomplish while in your new role. Write down a few short-term and long-term goals for yourself so you can refer back to them in the coming weeks and months to ensure you’re still on track to accomplishing what you had hoped your new job would bring!

Jonathan Finegold, Medcline

Grab Lunch With Someone

Everyone knows that there are a few must-dos on your first day. You need to get your equipment set up, organize your desk, start onboarding, and meet your team/superiors. However, I’d also recommend you have lunch with at least one person. This will help you start building relationships and paint you in a favorable light as the newcomer. It’s even better if you can join a big group! Pro tip: bring your lunch the first day but be prepared to go out if the opportunity presents itself, you don’t know what your new colleagues prefer yet!

Kristy Smith, The Girly Travels

Learn the Office Landscape

One thing that helped me when I first started at jobs was to get acquainted with the area I am working in. This means figuring out how to get to my work area from the entrance, where the conference rooms are, and other rooms such as the bathroom or break room. It’s also a great time to meet your new co-workers and to feel what the office vibe is about. Once you are able to get yourself familiarized with the office space, you will feel much more comfortable and focused on your tasks and duties.

Nina Jensen, 8×8

Arrive at Work Early 

You should always plan to arrive at work a little early on your first day. In fact, arrive earlier than most other people. This will give you time for the inevitable hiccups like finding the building, getting coffee in an unfamiliar office kitchen, and going through security if necessary. The worst thing you have to deal with is a late commute to work and having to apologize for your later arrival on your very first day at work.

Altay Gursel, Metriculum

Review Company Policies  

On my first day of a new job, I familiarize myself with the company policies and procedures. I always read the handbook and ask any questions to HR in my first few days. You don’t want to find out 3 months into a new job that you’ve been violating the dress code since day 1!

Shelbey Grimes, Trinity Air Medical

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