Starting a new job is one of the most exciting things you can do with your clothes on (assuming you’ve kept your clothes on and even if you haven’t, we’re all about supporting your dreams in whatever career path you take).
However, with your mind occupied on learning new skills in a new environment with new people, it’s easy to be a massive idiot and ruin it all in your first week.
This is why we’ve compiled a list common faux pas committed by ourselves and co-workers in the past.
1. Go out the night before (even if it’s to celebrate)
Sleeping in and showing up late is the quickest way to leave a shitty first impression, and trying to learn how to operate the register whilst hungover isn’t worth all the imaginary cred points you think you’re getting by telling everyone about the sick party you were at last night.
2. Wear the wrong thing
Too casual and you’ll look unprofessional, too smart and you’ll look like a dick. It’s a difficult thing to get right, and everyone will be out to judge you for it. Don’t mess it up! If you’re worried, err on the side of caution and avoid casual clothing until you get a feel for the vibe of the office.
3. Tell your supervisor you’re still playing the field
Unless you want to be given all the shitty jobs (fun fact: you don’t have to be a toilet cleaner to clean toilets at work), you should probably keep quiet about the other jobs you’re stringing along on the side.
4. Stop playing the field
That said, just ‘cause you’ve got a job doesn’t mean you should stop looking. It may not work out for you or your boss, or you may simply find something better suited to you. Keep an eye out for other opportunities that might come your way.
5. Call your boss ‘mum’
Other behaviours that are unacceptable with your new boss: calling them your top dawg and going for fist bumps, stealing a bite of their food, mocking their accent or asking if they’re on Tinder.
6. Act like you know everything
It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked something similar before, or even if you’ve got a fucking uni degree in the field – you’re in a new workplace and you need to learn how they like to get things done. Don’t be an asshole, at least not straight away; if you’ve got ideas on how to improve things, prove your worth and wait your bloody turn.
7. Keep quiet when you know how to do something
The flip side to this is playing dumb when somebody is training you in something you know how to do. Instead of hurting their ego, letting them know you’ve had some training before can save them time and help get you in the good books.
8. Talk about your music/acting/art career
Despite what they say about employers wanting well-rounded workers with varied interests, nobody on your first day gives a shit about your monthly rounds of the underground slam poetry circuit. Focus on doing your job well first, and then you can reveal your creative interests.
9. Over perform
Remember, the standard of work you do in your first week at your new job is what they’ll expect from you for the rest of your employment. Plus, you don’t want to show up your co-workers too badly at the beginning – you want them to like you.
You still need to do your bloody job.
11. Start a lie that you’ll have to continue for as long as you work there
It’s astounding how much this happens to me. One time at a new job I said I was part Mexican and ended up having to give a speech in front of the whole company the next year at fucking Cinco de Mayo. Just be honest, please.
12. Bang the hottie across the room
Not in your first week, at least; just wait ‘til it’s 2am at the Christmas party and you’re both drunk off cheap prosecco and awkward small-talk.
13. Worry too much
One of the real takeaways from this list is that there are some dumb-ass things people worry about when they’re starting a new job, and some of these things are beyond your control. A lot of the advice out there is to not be too much of something, but also not too little (be keen but not too keen!) and this can be fucking exhausting.
Don’t worry about it too much, because overthinking it can lead you to be the awkward fuck everyone else knows you to be. Relax! They hired you for a reason so remember that and stop freaking out so much.