In this series, workforce correspondent Calvin Yang offers practical answers to candid questions about how to meet workplace challenges and move forward in your career.
Q: I’m a new graduate and will be starting a desk job next week. How do I survive my first day on the job?
A: The first day at a new job can be scary.
Don’t worry if you lose sleep the night before and have butterflies in your stomach when you leave the house. It’s probably normal!
That said, you may not want to show up at the office unprepared. Try to find out as much as you can about the work culture, dress code, and co-workers you’re likely to work with.
It is obvious that you must be punctual.
Even better if you can arrive 15-30 minutes early. This gives you more time to familiarize yourself with your new work environment and set up your workstation.
Relax, smile and be friendly, even if you’re not a morning person and don’t feel like socializing.
Introduce yourself to your colleagues, including the office cleaner. A simple introduction will include your name, job title, and work experience.
Mr. Adrian Tan from the Singapore Institute of Human Resources advises beginners to talk less and listen more.
As National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser suggests, “If I was assigned a buddy, I would let them introduce me to the team, observe and use whatever information I have to navigate the landscape. social.
“I would be nice and friendly, but look authentic, and show that I’m a team player and ready to learn and put on my weight.”
Once you’ve settled in and finished the introductions, do some groundwork.
That includes knowing what you’re supposed to do and reading past correspondence, says Paul Heng, managing director of NeXT Career Consulting Group, but “nothing serious because you’re still new.”
Also, if you are asked to join your supervisor or coworkers for lunch, don’t turn them down. You probably won’t have much to do on the first day anyway.