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10 Tips For Your First Day in the Office

Remember when you had to change schools as a new comer?  Yes! That awkwardness you get as you walk into a new classroom and you have to repeatedly introduce yourself? That feeling  where you are in a new geographical and psychological space and everyone expects you to know all the rules, and pretty much ignore you till you are needed to pass a pen? That is typically the same with your first day in office. Here are tips to help you get through your first day in office:

Wear your Sunday best: It is true that you are dressed the way you want to be addressed. There is already an existing clique in the office so if you do not want to have your lunch all by yourself, make sure your appearance is presentable. But please don’t overdo it, be comfortable in whatever you choose.

Greet and be all Smiles: Just greet everyone you meet. In other not to avoid unnecessary victimization and intimidation, just smile and greet everyone. Even when the security official stops you and asks for the purpose of your visit, just smile. A simple sincere hello would work.

Be invisible: Trust me you already are. Starting your first day can be exciting and intimidating.  However, if you do not want to be thrown into a clash of titans, just try to be invisible on your first day. A lot of people are extroverted and as such would want to make friends on their first day. Please, observe carefully before you do so.

Relate with People: Try communicating with your colleagues and boss, unless you want to be seen as aloof. You don’t want to go to lunch all by yourself. So it’s best you relate with others especially those around you. Try to initiate conversations, establish connections.

Everyone is not your Mate: the first day you resume, you are already getting the vibes. True though, so it’s better you maintain status quo. The person who resumed a day before you is your ‘senior’ in a way, that is until you understand the dynamics of your new office. Well except you’re the Boss.

Excuse me please: How many names can you memorize in a day? Even if they are repeated all over. Some names are very important for you to know as they are extremely popular and important, but there’re others you may not have any reason to pronounce on your first day. Only in your continuous conversations will the names begin to stick to your memory. To avoid, “they are calling you”, or unnecessary descriptions (that short, tall man), just take a break and use that phrase, ‘excuse me please’, as an easy way out.

Orientation? Not always!  Only fortunate people are oriented about the office’s policies. Just know you would learn all the do’s and don’ts as your stay progresses.  Don’t stress yourself as you only need to know what your immediate boss tells you. Oh! Just like in Lagos, you will “wise up by yourself.”

Take your Meal Along: Understandably, you get the anxiety that comes up with a new adventure. However, if you are not prepared to starve as I did on my first day, please take your lunch while coming in, or better still, on your way to work look out for joints, restaurants, eateries around the office. Or just wait till you notice everyone’s heading out and follow suit. Or even better ask your colleagues until someone responds.

Leave an Open Mind: Do not come in with a prejudiced notion of anybody. You really do not know them, forget all of the first impressions. Just try to “fake it until you make it”, that way you save your hide.  Keep your expectations really low, but set standards and boundaries you wish to follow.

Be Prepared: Your first day is also a good day to stand out. If the opportunity presents itself, try and show off the skills for which you were hired. That way, your colleagues would respect you and understand that you didn’t come to play. However, please, don’t go shoving your abilities in everyone’s faces. They’ll only label you ‘I too know’.

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Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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