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This post has been on draft for a while and recently, I have been inspired to complete it after being asked by a friend for a ride to an interview. For many, the beginning of school is marked by first time jobs and most people including me were incredibly nervous and unsure about how to act on our first day.
I searched on Google on what to do for my first day and saw that it was a topic that has been thoroughly explored. However, no matter how much you read, it is always the same few things that show up
- Dress appropriately
- Arrive early
- Ask Questions
- Do your homework on the company
- Be positive/upbeat/have a good attitude
Following that advice you will be alright, you might even do very well! However, after working a few internships, that first day advice seems to be missing something. Perhaps, it is because I am anthropology major and was taught the value of personal connections, because to me those points of advice miss that very important aspect of being human. It is my opinion that the first day of work should be about laying the foundation for not only a professional connection, but a friendship as well in order to create a lasting relationship.
There are three things that I would recommend someone to do on their first day:
1) Be a chatterbox
As soon as you are shown to your desk/cubicle/place of work, immediately talk to the people around you. Remember how eager you were to make friends on your first day of college by striking up conversations with everybody? Capture that same mindset and use it to develop friendships on your first day of work. Revealing things about yourself through conversation, even something as simple as what you did that weekend, helps your coworkers find common ground with you and allows for the beginning of a relationship.
2) Be a great listener
In a conversation is important to take as much as you give, meaning that simply chatting away about yourself will get you labeled annoying, conversely if all you do is listen it will kill the conversation. The key to being a great listener is not just to passively listen, but also actively ask questions and give affirmations as well. If you listen well, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to find how much people will tell you about themselves. A receptive ear is always welcome and the sooner you demonstrate you have one, the more quickly you will be able to gain people’s trust and develop a relationship.
3) Keep it real
Genuine people are greatly appreciated and fakes can be spotted a mile away. Therefore if you do not have a genuine interest in being friends with your coworkers, your execution of the first two points I listed will fail. Stay honest and be yourself as you interact with your coworkers and you will be making friends with them in no time.
In closing, remember to use you heart as well as your brain and I wish you a fantastic first day,
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