Ten things to avoid doing on your first day

You nailed your CV, charmed throughout the interview process and presented the greatest confidence in your previous experience.

However, the panic is not over yet as there is one more hurdle to conquer; your first day. As office politics, a spell of imposture syndrome and questions you can’t answer loom, it is easy anxieties to take hold. However, as we try to think of every eventuality, it is easy to forget what NOT to do.

Here, the experts at Finance.co.uk present their top ten tips on what NOT to say on your first day, how to impress the boss and settle in to your new role like a pro.


It is your first day so inevitably, all eyes are on you – from intern to CEO.   Do not exclaim how tired you are, yawn at your desk or tell tales of how you cannot get to sleep early.  However innocent you think this is, stories of your tiredness hold negative connotations and will drive a damaging first impression.

I need to book a half day

Unless mentioned throughout the interview process, do not book half days and/or annual leave from the get go.  It will portray a lack of commitment to the role and poor communication on your part.  Rearrange those ‘emergency appointments’ and tell of any other leave days before your first day.

Hey, I am early

You know the drill, never be late.  However, on your first day it is also important not to be super early.  It is common that a workplace will ask you to arrive a little later than usual on your first day.  This is often for them to prepare for arrival.  Arriving early deprives your new colleagues of doing this and will leave you waiting patiently, and somewhat awkwardly, for them to set up.  Arriving very early can see you become a bit of a pain so it is good to arrive right on time or 15 minutes before at most.

I am not sure if I should have asked for more

Do not mention your salary, whether it be of your previous workplace on your new one.  It is a sure-fire way to make people feel awkward and exerts arrogance.  Think you should have asked for more?  Save this conversation for after the completion of your probationary period.

Yep, its half five

Do not be the first to leave the office on your first day.  It will be noticed, and it can come off as a little rude.  It also depicts a sense of laziness that portrays that you will never go above or beyond the role in hand.

No, I brought lunch in 

You may have brought lunch with you but if your colleagues ask you out to lunch, then go!  It is a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues and learn the workings of your new office.

I will take a guess

Do not be afraid to ask questions.  If you do not know the answer, then ask your fellow colleagues rather than take a guess.  It will be far more of an awkward conversation if you make a mistake that could have been avoided if you just asked a couple of questions.

In my experience

Unless explicitly asked, for the time being keep your opinion to yourself.  Nobody likes a know it all and you do not know whose ideas you are squashing.  Learn all there is to know before trying to make the role your own.

Get your priorities straight

Chances are, your first day will see that you are inundated with information and new tasks.  This can leave you unsure of what to do first and what tasks you should be prioritising.  Of course, you should have done your research and be aware of the company’s vision and objectives but that does not necessarily mean that you know what tasks should come first.  Ask your line manager what should take priority and what timelines your tasks should meet.

Do not be yourself

Yes, you are a hoot however, keep professional always.  You do not need to crack jokes all the time or tell everyone how crazy your weekend was.  Keep your questions nice and wait for proper relationships to form before telling takes from your personal life.

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