How to survive your first day at the office (infographic)

We've all been there.

That dreaded first day at the office. Of course, everyone gets nervous on their first day at any job, but offices in particular can appear to be extremely ‘grown-up’ and scary (or perhaps that’s just us?).

As a newbie, it can be difficult to know what to expect, and although everyone else appreciates that you’re new and might take a while to get into the swing of things, nobody wants to be the one who messes up on the very first day.

And we’re not just talking about the job itself, we’re talking about first appearances, office small talk and making friends. We’re here to answer some of the questions office newbies find themselves asking in the middle of the night before that dreaded first day…

“What time should I arrive?”

“How am I going to remember everyone’s names?!”

“WHY did I decide to pack a TUNA sandwich?!?”

Of course, no two office environments are the same, but there are some common factors that apply to every new office job.

That’s why we present you with the office newbie’s survival guide, which gives you all the necessary information for successfully surviving your first day (just remember not to take it too seriously!).

Be sure to add your own notes and top tips (by commenting below) and pass the guide on to any office newbies you know.

How to survive your first day at the office

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Infographic Transcript: The Office Newbie’s Survival Guide - Surviving Day One

What you will need:

  • Notebook & Pen
  • Lunch
  • Bottle of water
  • USB Stick
  • Cash (vending machine)

6:30 AM

Wake up nice and early, eat breakfast, wash and put on your smartest work clothes.

Check the weather reports to avoid weather-related clothes disasters.

Top tip: Pick your outfit the night before!

8:50 AM

You should be at work by now. WHY AREN’T YOU AT WORK BY NOW?

Aim to arrive at least 10 minutes early, but no earlier than 20 (you don’t want to look TOO eager - play it cool). 

10:30 AM

You should be at your desk by now and have had the down-low on what you’ll be doing. Make notes and say hello to everyone, smile and use this time to ask questions.

Top tip: If you forget someone’s name on the first day, make a joke of it. For example “Sorry if I forget your name, I’ve met about a hundred people today!”.

11:00 AM

Offer to make a drink for everyone else in the office but make sure to aim for an averagely good cup of the sweet stuff.

Top tip: Make a bad cup of tea/coffee, you will be forever remembered for it. Make an awesome one, and you’ll forever be called upon for your cuppa-making skills. 

12:00 PM

DON’T be the first person to ask about lunch, play it cool and wait to see what everyone else does. If you’re offered to go have lunch with your new boss and co-workers - GO!

Top tip: AVOID AWKWARD SMALL TALK: Have some discussion topics at the ready. Know what’s happening in the soaps, read the news and have a personal anecdote prepared

01:00 PM

Be prepared to be thrown into the deep end. Most employers give their newbies a work task on day one - you’ve been hired to work after all!

Top tip: Ask questions if you’re unsure, but try figuring out the problem yourself before you ask (Google search is a lifesaver!).

03:00 PM

You might be invited to an office meeting (lucky you) - just take notes and wait it out. It may be wise to pop to the toilet beforehand and grab a drink on the way in - you don’t know how long you’ll be there!

05:00 PM

You might be asked out to drinks after your first day. The answer should always be “Yes”.

Don’t think staying a bit late will impress your boss. Go home and reflect on what you’ve learnt today.

Top tips to remember…

  • The “reply-all” email feature can ruin your life
  • Restart your computer before declaring it as broken
  • DON’T bring tuna or egg salad for lunch. Just don’t

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