The National Center for Education projects over 1.6 million students will graduate with bachelor’s degree in 2014. And according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2014 survey, employers plan to hire 8.6 percent more college graduates in 2014 then they did in 2013.

So whether you are a college grad or someone who is starting a job with a new company, let me start off by saying CONGRATS! You got the job. You were the one the company pick over all the other applicants.

Even though you were the one chosen for the job, the company is still wondering if they made the right decision. So now your first day, your first week is getting closer and closer. What can you do to show your new employer, supervisor, and coworkers that your ARE the right person for the job and they didn’t make a mistake when they hired you?

Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: SalFalko via Compfight cc

You can make a great first impression!!! Starting out on the right foot matters when you show up to your new job. Here are 4 Steps to a great start to your new job:

1. Show up early to work

There is nothing that can derail your first impression to everyone you work with like showing up late. Make sure you are on time for your first day, week, month – until people know you are good at your job.

So make a great first impression and arrive on time. Arriving early to work shows your serious about this new position.

Action step: Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your start time.

Traffic and not finding parking are not a good excuses for being late. If you think these reasons could be an issue for you leave your house even earlier. If you arrive a hour or 30 min before your start time then take a book and enjoy some “me time.”  I especially recommend this for the first few days or until you learn the traffic patterns of your route to work.

2. Show up dressed to work

Wear proper attire to work until you understand the norms and culture of the company. Whether you like it or not people will judge you on what you wear, especially to work. I am pretty sure the last time your new coworkers saw you was at your job interview and you were probably wearing a suit. What do you wear then?

Action step: If you don’t know what to wear to work then ask. If for some reason you can’t ask ( and I am not sure why this would be and being afraid to ask is not a valid reason not to ask) dress nicer than what you think.

Examples for both men and women, if you are a lawyer then wear a suit;  other professional jobs wear slacks, a button up shirt, and a tie for men and scarf for women (you can always remove the tie and scarf if your workplace is not this formal).

3. Show up prepared for work

Lots of businesses on your first day or week will ask you to fill out lots and lots of paperwork. They will ask you to bring documents like your drivers license, social security card, birth certificate, etc. Don’t show up without them. It will make you look careless.

Even though some of these documents you don’t use too often they should be stored in a secure place and you should have access to them. If you are a recent high school or college grad DO NOT go to your new job and tell them that your mom has your documents and she is mailing them to you. You will not be seen as professional and the will wonder if you can’t trust yourself with your most important paperwork how can they trust you with theirs. Whether you like it or not you will be judged for this one too.

Action step: Start now and find the documents the company wants you to bring on your first day.

Although you know where you store these documents, do yourself a favor and go check. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to say, “I always put my [insert important document name here] in the same place and then go get it the day they need it and it is no where to be found. How stressful is that!

Other ways to show up prepared for work on your first day:

    • make sure you have drinks and a snack,
    • maybe even lunch (you don’t have to eat it if you are invited out to eat with coworkers
    • be ready to say hello, shake hands, and meet new people

4. Show up to work with a positive attitude

Your first day on the job can come with the feelings of being anxious, scared, excited, and [insert how you feel here]. Who knows how your first day will go? Chances are there will be things and people you like and others you don’t. Remember not only did this employer chose you but you choose them.

Action step: Reflect on the reasons you decided to take this job.

You control how you view and react to everything that happens to you – so be positive about it! Try an affirmation like, “I earned this job.” or “I deserve to be here.” If you want to learn more about creating your own affirmations check out this great post 10 Steps to Creating Powerful Affirmations from my friend Mary Crimmins.

What’s your tip for a great start to a new job?