How to Ace Your First Day at a New Job

Nicole Rodrigues

Some do’s and don’ts for a successful first day:

Your first day is your first opportunity to create an awesome first impression. Show up prepared and looking your best. Be sure you find out from your boss whom you will be communicating with most to get your job done well. Meet them, say hello, get on their radar, and create an online dialogue so they know to include you on important email chains, meetings, whatever. Remember, you come in to a new job non-existent, no matter what your title is. Translation: Before your first day you didn’t exist to anyone at the organization, so make it really easy for people to work you into their daily flow. Don’t come in entitled and ready to boss people around. Be humble, ready to learn, and ready to teach when the time comes. It’s your golden ticket into being liked and accepted by the group you’ll be working with.


How I nailed my first day on the job:

I’ll never forget my first day with the Oakland Raiders. I knew I was coming in as an intern but the end goal, in my mind, was to get hired. I showed up early, chatted with my boss (Craig Long) over coffee – before the other interns arrived – and told him that I was open to taking on any projects he needed me to. He loved my eager energy and introduced me to the entire communications and marketing team, and I made sure to shake hands, make good eye contact, and let them know they could count on me for anything they needed! My can-do attitude and willingness nailed me great projects that challenged me and helped me stand out. I eventually earned my seat at the table as player development coordinator and I remain part of the Raider family to this day.


My advice for how employees can overcome those first-day jitters:

Breathe: take it one day, one project, and one step at a time. No one is expecting you to solve all the organization’s problems in one day. They’re counting on you to show up ready to give your job 100%— that’s it!

Nicole Rodrigues, CEO and founder, NRPR Group

More from Money & Career Cheat Sheet: