Congratulations, you got the job! Now that you’ve aced the interview and you have secured employment, your nerves are starting to take over. You’re feeling excited about your upcoming first day of work, and a million thoughts are running through your head, like what to wear, and the best route to take to the office. But before you get too excited, you need to make sure you do some preparation so you can make a good first impression. Here are a few things you should never do on your first day.
1. Brag about salary
If your new job has resulted in a significant pay increase, that’s good for you. However, it’s rude and inappropriate to share that information with your new co-workers. So keep your happy news to yourself. Remaining tight-lipped may help you avoid resentment and unnecessary strife.
“Talking about wealth is really crass, especially when it’s done in a one-upmanship sort of way,” etiquette expert Peter Post told CBS MoneyWatch.
2. Bad-mouth your former employer
It’s not OK to speak poorly of your former employer. This will leave a very bad impression on your workmates. Even if you worked for the worst company imaginable, and you still harbor some resentment, you need to keep quiet about your true feelings. Gossip is just not classy. Furthermore, if you were laid off, your severance agreement may have had a non-disparagement clause buried in there. If this is the case, and your former employer ever found out you were casting them in an unflattering light, you could face legal action. In addition, the work world is a lot smaller than you may realize. You’re likely to bump into former co-workers at other jobs. Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily; it could come back to bite you.
“Very few people stay at one place for their entire careers anymore. The job market has almost turned into a mercenary type of marketplace where people constantly go to where reward is the greatest. The people who you despise may end up holding the keys to your employment future,” said Sam Dogen, founder of the blog Financial Samurai.
3. Express desperation
Even if you were on the brink of losing your home and you just finished clearing out your life savings before getting this job, don’t let everyone in the office know that. Oversharing is unprofessional. It might even cause others to treat you poorly because they’ll know that you would do anything to keep your job because you’re in a financial bind. Just be (quietly) grateful for the opportunity, and leave it at that. You can show your gratitude by getting to the office on time each day and doing good work.
4. Spend half the day decorating your new space
You’re moving into a new office, not an apartment. Don’t start arranging chair pillows and laying down matching area rugs. Being too concerned with how your space looks shows that your focus is in the wrong place (and with the job market being so unpredictable, you might not be there long enough to break in those chair pillows anyway).
“…[Your cubicle] is more like a seat at the dinner table than a room in the house. In other words, any sense of privacy is an illusion. Treat your office space with respect if you want to be taken seriously in the workplace,” said Salary.com contributor Heather Dugan.