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An Immigrant’s First Day on the Job!

February 3rd, 2011 · Leave A Comment

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You start work in 2 weeks from today. What do you need to know and do?

I am going to share with you some insights about this situation that will help you to have an amazing start on your first day at work.

Dress appropriately: During the process of interviewing with this employer, you must have or should have observed things like dress code whether formal, informal or business casuals. In case you have not, then there is absolutely no harm in asking the Human Resources person about the company’s dress code while you are finalizing the offer of employment. This bit of information will help you to blend in with the rest of your colleagues when you start. You certainly do not want to stick out like a sore thumb when you arrive at work on your first day. Furthermore, make sure that you wear a light, lingering deodorant or perfume before you walk in the door.

Arrive a bit early: How can you ensure that? Before you actually start on the job, it is critical that you map the route you are going to use to get to work, whether it is by Public Transit or driving your own car. You must take a TRIAL run on a workday before you start, to see how long it takes? What are the various routes you can use to reach earlier? What are the challenges, etc? This little exercise will be a great help in making sure that you arrive on time if not a bit early.

Meeting your contact: On arrival, contact the receptionist, introduce yourself with a smile and extend a warm handshake making the person feel important. Then you may want to ask for directions to the washroom and excuse yourself so that you may freshen up before you go in to meet with your contact. Appear confident and excited about your first day at work and it will pass off positively.

You may find that your first day starts off a little slow. Most organizations will have some sort of an orientation program for new employees, some more formal and structured than others. Your human resources contact or immediate supervisor will initially take you for a tour perhaps and chat with you broadly about the organization and its policies. Ask as many questions as you need to help you pass through the day without problems (for example, when do employees take lunch?).
Next, you will be taken to your department and introduced to your colleagues and managers there. Make sure you smile, maintain eye contact and extend a warm and confident handshake while you are being introduced to each individual. In case you do not catch the name of a person, pause for a moment and ask again.

You now arrive at your desk, your workspace, your little kingdom. Express your excitement about your location and positioning in the office. Take charge of your desk and explore the contents to see that you have office supplies like stapler, writing pad, pens, pencils, ruler, eraser and paper clips. In case you do not have the necessary supplies, then make sure that you ask the concerned department or person. Make note of all the important extension numbers and system passwords for email and network access, and start getting familiar with your computer and the operations manuals or company material that will be left for your orientation. You likely won’t do much “real work” on your first day.

When lunch time rolls around, do not be the first one to get up for lunch. It makes social sense to wait for one of your colleagues to invite you for lunch. When invited, promptly accept and then just go with the flow. Give the impression that you are a pleasant person to deal with, always approachable and easy going. Do not take sides in case of debates or arguments; just observe and absorb. You will have enough opportunity in the future to speak your mind.

Amazing, the first day has passed. You see people steadily leaving for the day. Before you do the same, go to your boss and ask if there is anything else that you can do before you leave.
And, as a final note to yourself, commend yourself on a job well done today and look forward to an even better tomorrow!

This is a guest post. About the author:

Vikki Mungre is better known as The Immigrant Coach by those he has helped, not only in their careers, but in their lives. He is passionate about helping people succeed, especially Immigrants from across the world.

A seasoned Management professional with over 20 years of extensive international experience in diverse industries like Logistics, Office Automation, Hospitality, Car rentals, Retail and Staffing.

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