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Your First 30 Days on the Job

Page Index:

Building a professional image on the job!

Your First Days on the Job

  • Be positive-have a good attitude
  • Learn the ropes
  • Be a team player
  • Getting Ready Checklist:
    • Have a pocket notebook so you can write down instructions, directions, and names of people you need to remember
    • Make certain you have transportation. Get your car checked out and make sure you know the bus or transit schedule
    • Decide on the best traffic route to avoid delays. Make parking arrangements ahead of time
    • If you have children, work out their daycare. Make sure you have a backup plan
    • If you have older children, give them instructions on all aspects of homecare so they do not have to contact you at work
    • Cut back on outside commitments/activities during your first 30 days. Do not overextend and miss a day of work during that time
    • Work out your wardrobe a week in advance
    • Have a regular exercise schedule in place
    • Take care of needed appointments (dental, doctor, etc.) ahead of time so they do not interfere
  • Do not ask for time away during the first 30 days

The First Day/Week

  • Admit you are nervous but are willing to learn and help and adjust.
  • Don't wait for others to be nice to you. Extend to them your friendship.
  • Communicate with an open, positive smile. Be happy.
  • Adjust to the dress standards.
  • Be open and approachable-a comfortable person to meet.
  • Remember names-do not try to remember them all at once. Take a few at a time.
  • Be courteous on the phone


  • Hold phone close to mouth so you can be understood.
  • Do not conduct side conversations.
  • Never eat or drink while on the phone.
  • Answer in as least rings as possible-3 is acceptable.
  • Ask for permission to place anyone on hold.
  • Use a friendly voice-smile.
  • Use the callers' name if possible. If not use sir or ma'am.
  • Use this method to answer-Greet>State organization>Introduce yourself>Offer help
  • Do not rush the caller
  • Thank the person
  • Pace Yourself-do not be so intense about making a good showing and then make mistakes
  • You must be a good listener
  • Build a good relationship with your supervisor by working well with others
  • Accept assistance graciously

Week Two

  • Increase your productivity levels
  • Improve your work habits

Bad Habits:

Messy desk
Poorly written report
Poor personal time management
Not being well-groomed (messy hair, poorly ironed clothes, etc.)
Too many personal calls
Negative attitude
Not taking care of company equipment
Being late for work or appointments
Not keeping promises
Not doing quality work
Coping with skill deficiencies
Ask your boss to sponsor you with any skills you are not good with
Stay after work to practice a needed skill
Pay for immediate tutoring/Take a class
How to handle embarrassing moments you have been trained for
Admit your mistake and lack of experience
Make sure you understand the trainer or teacher
Ask to do a dry run on new skills
Do new skills step-by-step at your own pace
Ask for retraining
Keep your sense of humor about mistakes
Do NOT make the same mistakes over and over
Protocol-Unwritten rules you are expected to follow
Do not go over your supervisor's head with problems or issues
Keep business and personal life separate
Talking in a negative manner about employees
Using first names when introducing a supervisor to a stranger
Telling offensive jokes or stories
How to communicate
2 Styles-You Choose:
Remain more quiet than usual. Concentrate on your work and be very polite. Communicate primarily with your attitude and job performance instead of your voice.
Be modestly assertive. Speak with confidence but be careful not to dominate conversations. Show positive learning attitude by asking relevant questions and be friendly and open.
-Also you may be teased at work and you are looked at to see what kind of response you have. One who can laugh at themselves usually fairs much better.

Week 3

Third week productivity - Make sure it consistently improves and is supported by your co-workers-they must support your efforts and be motivated to follow.
Reinforcing relationships
Be a serious, professional worker
Be generous with "thank you's-ex. you have been a great help to me-thanks"
Ask for advice
Pay more compliments without overdoing it-"I sure appreciate your professionalism"
The 3 C's - Stay away - be nice but do not identify with any
What if you have a difficult supervisor?
Adjust to his/her style-it is not personal
Concentrate on your work and co-worker relationships
Don't expect a perfect supervisor
They sometimes have rough days
Select the right times to talk
Don't turn a minor issue in to a major one
Don't go over your supervisor's head unless you have to
If you make a mistake you tell your boss-don't let her/him hear it from someone else

Week 4 - Balancing Productivity and Human Relations 

3 Suggestions to maintain a good balance:
You contribute in 2 ways-what you do and what you do because you are a team player-do not lose sight of this
Do not resent others because you are more productive
Helping others reach their best can mean a lot to your career
Everyone has second thoughts about their first job
What am I doing here?
Am I with the right organization?
Can I learn all they are throwing at me?
Did I spend all that time in college for this?

Remember, Rome was not built in a day and neither is your career. Give it some time. Confide in co-workers you trust. Talk to your friends or spouse about any misgivings. Sometimes a simple incident is turned in to something big-do not let that happen. You have been under pressure/stress before and survived. You do have skills and talents to help you through any situation.

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