Friday 13 September 2019 5:49 am

Five common mistakes to avoid on your first day in a new job

Lou Goodman is marketing director UK, Ireland and Benelux at

Starting a new job is like the first day of school. You’ve got no idea where anything is, you can’t remember anyone’s name, and you generally feel a bit a clueless about it all.

Concerns about making a good impression build up in your head from the moment that you accept the job offer, and the last thing you want is to be noticed for the wrong reasons on your first day. 

So to help you successfully navigate your first day at work, we’ve identified common mistakes to avoid at all costs.

All guns blazing

The pressure to make a good first impression is overwhelming, but going in all guns blazing and talking non-stop, especially about yourself, is an immediate way to turn people off.

 This could be one of the most exciting moments in your career, but remember that it is a normal day in the office for everyone else. 

When you have a chance to chat to your colleagues, ask questions about them, listen to the answers, and try to find a common interest. Why not try everyone’s favourite conversation starter: what a shambles Brexit is.


Your first day of work will usually be made up of introductory meetings and some simple tasks. This will not keep you busy for the whole day, but the worst thing you can do is stare at the office clock. 

Make yourself useful during these periods, even if that means doing a tea round. At least then it will keep you busy, and make sure your eyes don’t start veering towards the clock.

Touchy about tech

If you’re confident that you won’t have an issue with IT on your first day, think again. 

Inevitably you will have trouble creating a work account and be forced to call tech support more than you would like. This is all part and parcel of your first day at work, so just embrace it. Making light of the situation will go down far better with your colleagues than complaining about it.

Al-desko dining

Of course, bringing your lunch to work is very cost-efficient, but avoid it on your first day of work. 

Leave yourself open to accepting lunch with your new colleagues – it’s a great way to make contacts and get to know your local lunch spots.

Pretending to know it all

A sure-fire way to get on the wrong side of your colleagues is acting like you know everything. 

Even if you have previous experience in this sector, you can’t possibly know all the intricate details of the new company that you’ve joined. 

Your ego might take a knock, but you need to accept that there will be occasions when you should ask for help. And you might be surprised at the number of people who are willing to give you some useful pointers.

Let’s face it, your first day at work is never easy and it will take time to settle in properly. But while things will feel overwhelming for the initial weeks, the one thing you can control is making a good first impression. 

By avoiding these common pitfalls, it will go some way to ensuring that you feel part of the team.