What NOT to Do On Your First Day at Work

Let’s get this straight: you earned that college degree, you moved yourself out of your mother’s basement, and you nailed that job interview. So far, things are looking pretty good. However, there is still a lot that goes into keeping your job, and it all starts on Day 1.

1. Don’t Be Late

Set your alarm clock 60-90 minutes before you expect to head out the door. At least you know that the sleep button still works so you can get back to your marvelous dream of having dinner with Jennifer Lawrence without “American Hustling” to your first day on the job (are these recent movie puns doing anything for you?) It also assures that you have enough time to shower, get dressed, and get a bite to eat so you won’t have to go through your own rendition of the “Hunger Games” before your lunch break (I’m done, I swear). Also, if you’re nervous about your commute to work, try spending a day driving around and map out your route. This way you’ll have a clear idea of how long it would take to drive to work and potentially find parking. In summary, punctuality is key to “having the odds be ever in your favor” for securing this new job (Ha, like I was going to forget that one).

2. Don’t Blow Off Orientation

“Oh they’re just going to tell you the basics; how Microsoft Word works, when to break for lunch, how to count to 5 on your fingers, etc.” Get these thoughts out of your head. I don’t care how ridiculously obvious it is that the business people in that video presentation about workplace relationships are actors. If you don’t act attentive or interested, you can sweetly bet that training managers, even if they’re not your direct supervisors, will report your behavior back to your boss. Choose to do the exact opposite and I’ll be more than happy to help you move your life-sized Darth Vader statue back into your mother’s basement.

3. Don’t Forget to Learn First

It’s true that everybody admires an expert, but if you’re not an expert, don’t pretend to be one to impress your superiors (you didn’t go to acting school for a reason). Read the manuals, learn the policies/procedures, and do whatever else it takes to ensure that you’re not responsible for turning your company into Enron. Never heard of them? Exactly.

4. Don’t Forget Any Documentation

Your boss may ask you to bring your driver’s license, social security card, passport, and/or baby footprints with you on your first day. Be sure to find everything you need and lay them out the night before. It’s also a good idea to ask if you should bring anything else to ensure that you get paid on time, as well as making sure you’re not “Heisenberg” to Human Resources’ “Hank Schrader” before you even touch a copier (I never said anything about television references).

5. Don’t Forget to Ask Questions

It’s time to get your ego in check and ask what seem to be the dumbest questions possible. Especially on your first day, it’s perfectly normal to not know what font to type reports in, how to enter budget expenses on a spreadsheet, or how to slay the magic dragon that resides in the furnace. If you don’t know the answer, then it’s not a stupid question. If anything, you may just have an ignorant boss, for he may not know that you need to slay the dragon before it wakes up to avoid a scene (duh).