How to ace day one of your new job

Making a good impression on your boss and co-workers is vital on the first day of a new job.

Research has shown that it can take less than a second for a person to form an opinion of you based on your physical appearance, body language, attitude, clothes and mannerisms.

Based on first impressions, humans have evolved to make huge assumptions about one another’s health, success, intelligence, competence, trustworthiness, temperament and wealth. These can be very hard to change.

Read our tips for getting it right first time.

Dress to impress

To be perceived in the right way from the off, you should arrive on your first day of work well groomed and dressed appropriately for the company dress code. It could even benefit you to go a little smarter in the beginning.

Arrive early

Just don’t arrive too early – you don’t want to take your manager or the HR team by surprise and cause them any stress. Fifteen minutes early is perfect as it makes you look reliable and eager to get to work.


Research anything about the company or industry you think you may need to know before you start work. It would help if you also brushed up on any skills you mentioned on your CV or during the interview process that may now be a little rusty. Finally, it’s a good idea to prepare a quick ‘elevator pitch’ for when you’re introducing yourself to new colleagues. Have a brief spiel about who you are, where you’ve worked, and your new role. You may be asked many times throughout the day, so having something ready to go will make it much more manageable.


It helps to be friendly and approachable at work, particularly on your first day. Be sure to show interest in what others are saying, pay attention to your body language and work hard to learn your co-workers’ names early on.

Accept social invites

If you get invited to lunch or after-work drinks, go! Even if you’re too tired, go along for a short time and get to know your colleagues. It will not only ensure you get invited to future events but is also an opportunity to learn more about office politics and working relationships.

Be flexible

You’re starting at a new company, and you need to be able to adapt to new ways of working, new systems for decision-making, sign-off procedures, power dynamics, and the protocol for raising issues, starting discussions and raising new ideas.

Pay attention to the unwritten rules

You will settle into your new office without ruffling feathers much more quickly if you pay attention to the unwritten rules such as:

Where do you put your dirty coffee cups?
Where do you hang your coat?
Do people eat at their desks?
When does the workday really end? When the boss leaves? Or 5 pm sharp?
How quickly do people expect email responses?
Do people prefer a phone call instead of an email for more minor issues?

Good luck!