21 August 2008

New Job: Arrive On Time (Not Too Early, Not Too Late At All)

I talked about this before, but punctuality is extremely important. For some it's natural while others will always struggle with it. And of course, the perception of punctuality varies depending on the company, country or culture.

But especially if you're unsure about the company or are just starting your first job in a new country, I would recommend the accountant's approach: be precise. If you're supposed to be there at 9:00 am, don't be there later than 9:00 am (not 9:01 am). On the other hand, you shouldn't show up before 8:55 am, otherwise you will look like you're overeager, desperate or simply can't manage your time.

And keep in mind that the people expecting you might be nervous as well. Maybe your new boss is desperately looking for the perfect thing to say when he greets you. Or the person who will train you is trying to get as much done as possible before you arrive. Don't show up at 8:25 unless you want to annoy them. Hint: not the best strategy for your first day.

On your way to work, come up with a good password. This way, when you get your new laptop and the IT guy tells you to choose a new password NOW, you won't freeze, feel embarrassed and finally use your birthday.

And it will keep your thoughts busy so you might forget to be nervous for a few minutes. Because, lets face it, there are so many things that could go wrong on your first day ;-)

Previous posts in the New Job Series
Part 1: Before The First Day
Part 2: Maybe Your Manager Is Nervous Too?


Ask a Manager said...

Not arriving too early is a good point. It applies to job interviews too. Obviously, you don't want to risk being late -- but don't arrive half an hour early. I've had candidates doing that lately, and I always end up feeling like I need to go out and greet them when I'm actually really busy in the middle of other things, which sucks.

Rachel - former HR blogger said...

Arriving early puts a burden on whoever you're meeting with. When I start someone I always come in 30 minutes early because I know they'll be there early. Sometimes I see them sitting in their cars when I come in. It makes me shake my head.