How to Start a New Job on a Great Foot

How to Start a New Job on a Great Foot

You convinced them that you were the best for the job, and now it’s time to prove it. Whether you’re new, or have 10 years of experience in your field, navigating the first few days of a new job can be stressful and overwhelming.

Here are a few tips to help you make a good impression on your first few days in the office.

Arrive Early

Few things can tarnish your reputation like showing up late on your first day. Or your second day. It shows a lack of organisation and planning, as well as a lack of appreciation for the position you’ve been given. Make sure to plan to be there early for the first few weeks. If you have to commute, it’s better to arrive near work 30 minutes early or more; you can always bring a book or stop by a local coffee shop to kill some time. But this way, if rush hour slows you down significantly, or if there is an accident blocking your route, you’ll still have plenty of time to get there.


Figure out the patterns of the office as soon as you can. Does everyone arrive 15 minutes early and hang out in the break room prior to beginning work? Make a point to do the same. It will give you a chance to get to know your co-workers, and show that that you are approachable.

Ask for Help When Needed

Don’t worry about looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. Any new employee will have a learning curve as they adapt to the environment and atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your team to get clarification on policies, procedures, unfamiliar office equipment and other general questions. Your new coworkers would rather help you figure out how to work the printer than have you break it.

Accept Guidance Gracefully

The wisdom of veteran employees is invaluable when you’re starting out at a new job. Even if you already have a strong grasp of what they’re passing along, accept their willingness to help you, rather than feel insulted and respond with attitude. That way, when you do need to ask a question, they will be much more willing to assist.

Avoid Office Politics

At some point, you will find that there are tensions and divisions around the office. You don’t want to immerse yourself in these things just yet. Take a step back and observe before jumping on anyone’s bandwagon. While you may agree with someone’s assessment of a negative situation, you may not have all of the necessary information yet to make judgment. Also remember to take anyone’s opinions lightly. Don’t let yourself be convinced that Tom is lazy because you overhear Sara and Jon say so. Avoid engaging in any office politics or make judgments as long as you can, or at least until you’ve got a good idea of how things really work.

Be Humble

If you’re a seasoned professional, it can be very tempting to want to highlight your successes. Make sure that it doesn’t cross a line and become arrogant. Also avoid statements like, “When I worked for (competitor), we did…” or “In my last job…” You don’t work there anymore. You need to be looking towards establishing yourself and making a name for yourself. Comments like those can often be divisive, especially when you are offering an alternative to traditional practices that coworkers have been familiar with for years. You don’t want to be known as “the guy that worked at (competitor).”

The most important things to focus on when you’re starting a new job are proving your reliability and getting along well with your new team. The tips above generally fall into one of those two categories, and while you may want to prove your worth by completing flawless projects, these soft character development skills will set the stage for how you fit in at your new job while you work on proving your worth.

About the Author:

Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at and loves to share career tips and tricks.


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