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Do's and don'ts for your first week on the job

Preparation is key to a successful start in a new job. Essentially, you are still on trial for the first few weeks in any job and it’s important to set the right image from the moment you walk through the door on your first day.

Office do’s

• Dress smartly. Better to be overdressed than come to work looking too casual.
• Feel free to ask questions that are relevant to any tasks you’re assigned.
• Be courteous and friendly to everyone you meet regardless of rank. First impressions count and the post room person could end up being the office ‘fixer’ who can make your life a lot easier.
• Project the image of a conscientious worker who is friendly.

Office don’ts

• Make personal phone calls from your office phone. It is something that you need to do discretely from your mobile until you know more about the office culture.
• Talk too loudly on the phone or the mobile. Similarly, don’t leave your mobile unattended at your desk or put your phone on speakerphone when dialling. Colleagues need to concentrate on their work too.
• Criticise fellow workers or the work itself. It looks unprofessional and leaves you wide open to manipulation by others.
• Join in with any teasing of a fellow workmate. The dynamics of any group are complex and it is better to observe them than to become involved immediately.
• Take too many breaks. Some smokers do about two hours less work a day than their colleagues – of course they would argue it makes them more productive.
• Ignore personal hygiene.

If you would like any further advice on growing your career, read other articles in the Career Centre.