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Easy ways to impress on your first day at work

Easy ways to impress on your first day at workThe first day of a new job or internship can be nerve-racking. Here are a few tips to make sure the day goes as smoothly as possible.

What to wear?

Ask your contact at the place you’ll be working for some tips on what dress is appropriate. If the advice is unclear, then always go for something smart, that you feel comfortable in. So: no trainers, jeans or over-the-top jewellery. One of the most important things in terms of appearance is to look clean – so make sure you clip and scrub your nails and wash your hair!

In some jobs, there are practical requirements for what you wear: for example, you might need safety footwear to work on a construction site, or short sleeves to work in a hospital. Make sure you check this with your employer in advance, as if your clothing doesn't meet the requirements they may have no choice but to send you home.

When to arrive

It's best to check when you are expected to arrive with your employer in advance. Even if you know what time the working day normally starts, they might prefer you to come in a little later on your first day so that they can prepare.

Whenever you're due to arrive, remember that it's better to be early than late. Leave in plenty of time, just in case you get held up.

The night before

There are a few things you can do or prepare the night before, which will make the next morning more relaxed:

  • Make sure you know how to get to work and how long the journey takes (remember that you will need to leave extra time for rush hour).
  • Pack your bag with everything you need so you don’t have a last minute panic in the morning.
  • Decide what you want to wear and make sure it’s all washed and ironed.
  • Try to do something relaxing like having a bath or watching a favourite film before going to bed.
  • Finally, don’t stay up too late and try to get a good night’s sleep!

What to bring?

There are some things that will make your day easier and help you feel in control:

  • Pad and a pen – so you can take notes when people explain tasks to you. They will have these things in the office, but you will look more professional if you come prepared.
  • Take a map or directions, so you don’t get lost.
  • Bring the name and phone number of your contact at work. That way, just in case you get delayed, you can always call to explain. Also, when you get to reception, you’ll know who to ask for.

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Ask questions and take notes

If you’re confused about any of the tasks you are given, ask lots of questions! You’re there to learn. Plus inquisitive people who aren’t afraid of communicating make impressive employees. Just as importantly, pretending that you know more than you actually do could lead you to make mistakes.

Put yourself forward

Speak up if you have finished the work you were given and you don't know what to do next. Letting your supervisor or manager know that you're looking for more to do will show that you're enthusiastic and efficient. If there's a task you're particularly keen to try your hand at, this can be a great opportunity to suggest it. This is especially true for interns, who can often struggle to find interesting tasks if they aren't proactive.

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