Joining At Your New Job? Congratulations! Here Are Some Dos And Don’ts To Keep In Mind

Got that dream job and have your first day at work? Congratulations! Here are some Dos and Don'ts to make a great first impression.

Got that dream job and have your first day at work? Congratulations! Here are some Dos and Don’ts to make a great first impression.

When one talks about work – there are two days that are very critical – the day that you join an organization and the day that you leave one. This of course does not mean that the days in between are not – they are. But the first and last days are make-or-break days for your career. The things that happen, your reaction to them, and how you handle the ‘first hellos’ and ‘last goodbyes’ have a lasting effect on your career both within and outside the company, for many years to come.

In this article we’ll address the things that you must do and must not do on your first day at work to make a lasting positive impression on your new colleagues.


  1. A day or two before you are expected to join the company – confirm the joining date, reporting time, dress code, and the name of the person you’re supposed to report to on your first day. If possible, get the number of the concerned person and the HR.
  2. If you are not sure of the dress code and have not received any clear intimation from the HR, dress conservatively. Even if your first day is a Friday. Every organization follows a certain dress code and a wrong dress on the first day can be a topic of discussion for a long period of time. (Read: every time a new person joins.)
  3. Carry originals and at least two copies of all your documents – your resume, relieving letter from previous organization, school and college certificates, Pan card, Adhar card, and Bank details. Also carry 3 – 4 passport size photographs. If you’ve not already provided reference check details, then be sure to list down the names and contact details of the people whom you’d like to list as references and inform them that they will be contacted. Don’t forget to carry a good pen! You’ll need one to fill the endless pile of forms.
  4. People are generally expected to give a short introduction about themselves when they are first introduced to the team that they’ll be working with. Prepare beforehand how you’d introduce yourself – make it crisp and relevant. Don’t overshare personal details.
  5. Reach the office at least 10-15 minutes before the appointed time.
  6. If the person you’re expected to report to is not your reporting manager, then once you are done with the joining formalities request to meet with him.
  7. Discuss and understand the immediate expectations of the job. If you do not understand anything ask for clarifications. It’s okay to say ‘I don’t know this, can you please explain or elaborate?’.
  8. Ask for the company orientation material – ask what’s acceptable and what’s not. This is the best time to know the rules and regulations of the organization. The legal phrase – ‘ignorantia juris non excusat’ is relevant even in the corporate world.
  9. When being introduced to the new team, be cordial – neither too friendly and nor too aloof. Try to remember names and titles of as many people as possible. People like it if you remember and use their names to address them.
  10. If you know someone through a contact or from an earlier organization, try to make time to go and say a ‘hello’ to that person. It helps to have a friend in a new place.
  11. It is unlikely that you’ll be assigned any major work on the first day, so if you’re sitting idle or have been asked to sit with someone – then try to be helpful. Also utilize this opportunity to ask as many relevant questions that you can about the job. Remember, relevant questions pertaining to the job – no gossip.
  12. Understand your place in the office – team hierarchy. Find out who reports to you and whom do you report to.
  13. Be yourself. Be humble. And, Be nice.
  14. Follow the rules.


  1. Goes without saying, don’t be late, and don’t dress shabbily.
  2. Don’t force your way in to the team on the first day. Take time to know the people and give them time to get to know you. This also means no sending Facebook Friend requests to anyone during the first few months at least. First get to know them offline then befriend them online. It’s decent and it’s safe.
  3. Don’t praise or crib about your previous employer or manager to the new team or manager.
  4. Don’t be aggressive – try not to push your views or opinions on the team.
  5. Try not to answer too many personal calls during the office hours.

We know it’s a long list and some may find it difficult to follow all the Dos and Don’ts. If you realize you’ve made an error – be prompt to apologize and make amends. First days can be difficult, but if you follow the guidelines and let your good common sense rule – they’re not rocket science.

If you have any funny or scary first day stories share it with the community – let others learn from your bloopers or follow your good common sense.

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