You’ve searched for the job, made it through all of the interviews and referencing to finally land that exciting new job. Now you just have to make it through the first day. It’s natural to want to be liked, to impress, or fit in quickly. However, many people end up trying too hard, and talk too much when they should be listening.
It’s not just about how you act on your first day of work, but what you say as well that influences what your colleagues think of you. If you’re worried about messing up, Business Insider has come up with a list of things that you should never say on the first day of work. Take a look at the list below, so you know to how to tread carefully:
13 things not to say on your first day
“You look different than you sound over the phone“
“Hi, it’s so nice to meet you and great to finally place a face with name”, is a better way to start a conversation than implying that you’re surprised or disappointed that the person you’re meeting doesn’t meet your expectations.
“Who should I avoid around here?”
A question like this is basically asking coworkers to gossip, and that’s a career killer. One person’s beef with another coworker is their business only and could have developed over matters you have no idea about. Instead, simply take the time to meet and engage in small talk with each person in your department. Also, don’t ask or comment about office relationships, marital status or flirt with your co-workers on the first day.
“When do I get a raise?”
Do not ask questions inquiring for a raise, promotion, time off or expenses. These comments should be discussed during or after a probation review.
“BTW, I have to leave early on Fridays”
If you hadn’t mentioned this prior to landing the job and you suddenly drop this kind of bomb on your employer, it really shows a lack of communication and respect on your part.
“I’m going through a bit of a rough patch”
Don’t mention any personal problems or drama when you first meet new colleagues or your boss. Mentioning your relationship woes, for example, may give your coworkers and boss reason to doubt your focus and ability or view you as a complainer. Work is the time to leave any or all baggage at home.
“At my last job…”
No one likes a know-it-all. Do not tell your co-works that you know how to do things better. Recognize that although you may be knowledgeable, this can across as rude or inappropriate. You need be able to adapt to new policies and procedures.
“That’s not how I learned how to do it”
Employers don’t want to hear what you can’t do; they want to hear that you’re ready to learn and you’re open-minded enough to do it their way. It usually just slips out. People want to be able to show their expertise and they think that’s why they got hired. However, if you don’t frame it properly when it comes out of your mouth, it can sound negative and critical of their organization.
“That makes no sense”
From time to time, there may be a way of doing things in your new company that you don’t understand or agree with. But framing it this way makes you seem like a Negative Nancy—or worse—just plain stupid. Instead of telling people that the policy doesn’t make sense to you, ask why the company does it this way; try to understand the policy from the organization’s point of view.
“My old boss was clueless”
Maybe your last boss was an idiot. But negative complaints and comparisons are rarely welcomed; these kinds of statements can be harmful to your professional brand and how you’re perceived.
“Your brand is your trademark, and it’s built by consistency — good and bad,” says workplace expert Michelle Kerrigan. “Once established as bad, it’s hard to change perception. You need to build and maintain a positive brand — to be memorable for the good.”
“No, thanks. I brought my lunch today”
Don’t turn down a lunch invitation on your first day. This is your opportunity to get lunch and bond with new coworkers or a boss. It appears standoffish, even if you did pack your lunch that day. Remember that this is there first impression of you.
“When are you due?”
If you imply a woman is pregnant when she isn’t, there’s absolutely no recovery. And regardless of whether the observation is true or false, it’s too personal to mention on your first day of work. So, unless the woman brings it up, stick with professional topics that relate to your job.
“I’d like to invite you all to my church this Sunday”
Do not bring up religion. Unless it has something to do with your job, you might consider using the “never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table” rule to your desk as well. In our multi-cultural society everyone is entitled to their own personal beliefs. Respect that.
“Hey, working hard or hardly working?”
First off, it’s lame. Second, while you may see other coworkers ribbing one another and think it’s fine to join in, don’t. They’ve earned that level of casualness with each other. You haven’t. Be respectful, polite, and prove to people that you’re there to do a great job.