Congratulations! You’re joining a new company, and you want to start things off on the right foot. Be it with your colleagues or boss, first impressions are long-lasting, and you don’t want to make the wrong one — and spend days or even weeks rectifying them. In this potpourri of anxiety, stress, and excitement, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help you sail through the first days of joining a new company:

Don’t Dress unprofessionally

While you may be confident with your work clothes, there’s no harm in double checking the dress code with the HR in advance. As a rule of thumb, avoid wearing new dresses, shirts, or shoes on the first day. New shoes bite; the new dress could be too tight/ loose, etc. Pick something that you’ve worn a couple of times before — so it’s relatively new but comfortable enough in the first few days of joining a new company.

Don’t Be late

Be on time, if not before! Set the alarm 15 minutes earlier or use an extra one if required. Being late on the first day of work leaves a guaranteed negative impression. On the contrary, an early entrance would be greeted with enthusiasm. Ideally, you should reach 10-15 minutes before time.

Start making immediate changes

This is not the day for trumpeting about your triumphs. Spend the day listening to your coworkers/ boss/ HR. Keep a diary or notepad handy to make a list of to-do things. You probably had received prior information from the HR, so make sure you connect with the required people. Also, don’t just start changing things on day one. It is the time to note things quietly and then evaluate them rationally.

Don’t Pull your rank

If you’ve been assigned to a senior post, then you have a wider territory to look at which includes management, the designation of tasks, etc. However, don’t pull your ranks on the first day and start bossing people around. It will reflect that you are probably insecure about the job. Simply offloading your tasks on colleagues or your team members is a strict No-No. You should believe you have the potential to get the job done. Do ask for help, but don’t impose.

Wait before you Implement a cookie-cutter plan

What worked for your last job might not work for the new one. Most people stick to or follow a standard plan. It’s time to blend in with the changing times and work cultures rather than staying put with the same old theories and concepts. Some workplaces do have a system of orientation to help you acclimatize to their working style. If not, you can try taking initiatives and use a few tricks from your older plan.

Be wary of exhibiting poor work etiquette 

There are a few unsaid and informal rules about work culture and etiquette that remain universal. This is very important on the first day (and the next few to come):

  • Don’t make personal jokes or comments about colleagues and peers.
  • Spend too much time on your phone, talking or surfing. If there’s an urgent call, speak softly, make it quick and hang up

Wait before you talk about changes in the contract or an increment

Before joining a new company, you are likely to have signed a contract or agreed to one. On the first day of joining, do not ask for changes in the same or for more money than what was agreed upon. You should have worked for a few months to prove your worth to the employer before asking for any such changes.

Remember, it’s completely alright to be stressed out. You cannot learn everything in a day. So do not feel awkward about asking for help or assistance. Doing so simply shows that you are eager to nail the task and set things right.

Jappreet Sethi

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Jappreet Sethi, CEO and founder of HexGn, stands out as a strategic human resource management and entrepreneurial mentorship expert. Under his leadership, HexGn, known for its dynamic community of serial entrepreneurs and industry experts, has trained over 5000 entrepreneurs from 20+ countries, reinforcing its global impact in entrepreneurial education. Sethi’s extensive experience includes strategic government projects, developing e-commerce strategies, and authoring white papers on technology in internal security. His international workshops have spanned 15 countries, aiding participants and clients in raising investments. His tenure as head of People and Process Consulting at Jones Lang LaSalle India and his role on JLL's global Diversity board reflect his deep understanding of organizational dynamics and transformative change. A certified facilitator with an impressive track record in leadership development, Sethi’s expertise in process management is evident in his achievements as a Six Sigma Black Belt and master lean practitioner. He’s also a visiting faculty member at leading institutes, a prominent speaker, and the founder and lead editor of the acclaimed HR blog, Recognized as a top HR influencer, Sethi's unique blend of strategic HR expertise, global mentorship, and organizational transformation insight makes him an invaluable asset in guiding companies through growth and innovation.


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