Long time ago, I published an article on Making New Employees Feel Welcome and Have a Good Start. It covers some very important tips that employers must follow when having a newcomer. However, there are some very important things that new employees must never forget on the first days of work. Here are a few suggestions that may help you get a fruitful and congenial start on a new job.
1. Don’t brag or show off. It is a mistake to try to impress oldtimers by telling them how much better your old company handled things, or to point out mistakes you see them making. The only impression you will make is a bad one. If you see inefficiencies or know of a better method that could be used, the wisest course is to be patient. Once you have been there a while and have established a working relationship with the other workers and with your supervisor, your suggestions stand a much better chance of being accepted by them, instead of being resented.
2. Don’t try to get too friendly too soon. If you tend to be open and friendly you would be wise to use some restraint in your first few days on a new job. Even though you immediately like some of the people you meet, it is prudent to wait at least a few days before you get on a very friendly basis with them. Not only will this avoid giving the impression that you are forward, but it will also prevent the forming of alliances that you may later regret.
3. What to do when you’re invited to lunch. In some companies, your immediate superior will invite you to lunch with him on the first day of work. If he does, let him take the lead in selecting the place at which you dine. Frequently, it will be in the company cafeteria. You simply follow the same procedures as does your host, paying for your own lunch when you reach the check-out register and attendant. He may prefer to dine with you alone, or suggest joining a particular group. In any case, let your conversation be guided by the supervisor or senior members of the group.
If your superior does indicate that he intends to pay for your lunch, simply thank him graciously. Don’t create a scene by trying to insist that you pay your part of the bill; he wouldn’t offer to pay unless he really wanted to.
Don’t let the informal atmosphere of the lunch table trap you into being too familiar with your supervisor or department head. If he asks personal questions, it is to make conversation easier for you, and to learn something about you. It is not an invitation for you to ask him personal questions, or to get chummy. You should also curb any temptation you may have to try to impress him by boasting of your accomplishments with other companies. If drinks are included with lunch, be careful that you don’t take more than you can handle, since it will loosen your tongue and might lead to embarrassment.
If your co-workers ask you to join them for lunch, expect to pay for your own. Let the others take the lead in conversation; “talking shop” is often against the unwritten rules at lunchtime. When lunch is over you might thank them for asking you to join them.