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Cover image for 🛠 7 most important things you should do on your first day at your new job! 😎

🛠 7 most important things you should do on your first day at your new job! 😎

lampewebdev profile image Michael "lampe" Lazarski ・4 min read

You aced your job interview, and after three days you got a call from the company that they would be happy if you would join their development team. Excellent, you just got a new job! 🎉

You will start your new job in one week! It will be a Monday. Suddenly you feel the stress coming up.

You are asking yourself: "Will my new colleagues like me? What should you wear on your first day?" and many have so much more thoughts in your head!

The following tips and tricks should help you to have a fantastic start at your new job!

What you should wear

These days it is not clear how dressed up you should go to work. Companies know that only relaxed workers are good works, so they don't have such strict dress codes. Also, usually, development teams are not facing the customer. So don't dress up like you would meet the president but also don't go in your old pullover that had its best time ten years ago at school. In general, it better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Here is your plan! On the first day go a little overdressed and then check out how other colleagues are dressed. So you are on the safe side.

Working hours

Have you ever been in an office where it is okay for one colleague to come at 9 and go at 17 and for another colleague that would always sit at his desk when you arrive and still sit there when you leave and when he once wants to leave on the same time when everybody goes to be asked questions why he is doing that?

So why is it okay for one person to work his 8 hours and from the other person it is expected to do extra hours? It comes down to expectations!

The company or your colleagues do not set these expectations! They are set by you! When you join a company, you are an unwritten page, and the only person who can write on that page is you!

On your first day, decide what kind of guy you want to be? The 9 to 17 guy or the one who is staying longer.

Speak to all your colleagues

I know, I know. You are a developer, why should you talk to that woman from the sales team? You are doing the real worker, and she is just selling things. So why should you care about anyone else then your dev team?

First, you don't know maybe she is super funny, or she perhaps is your future wife? You don't know. Besides that, you can learn from here. Not just about sales but also what is happening in other parts of the company. This, in the end, can lead to a better product. Besides that, you don't want to eat alone lunch, right?

There is also one hack if you don't want to start the conversation. Put a bowl of sweets next to you and write free candy on it. People will come to you!

So get out there and just speak to random people!

Be humble

I often see new developers coming in and just bashing the whole thing. Starting from the software to the git commits to the architectural choices to the frameworks and libraries used.

Don't do that! By doing this, you will not earn the respect of your team. First, observe and if you don't understand why things are like they are then asked why and don't assume that they are just bad developers. You don't have the full picture. Maybe they only head 2 weeks to finish this feature, or it grows over time.

So don't think you know everything and everything better. Be humble and ask if you don't understand something.

Ask for help and advice

I have seen this more than once. You are new, and you get a small task to start with, and you work on it, but at some point, you get stuck, and you can not figure out what is going wrong! You are getting annoyed and frustrated. This happens to all of us!

You should have asked long ago for help and advice. There is nothing wrong with asking your colleagues a question or for help.

Asking a colleague for advice can also be an excellent way to build a relationship with that person. It shows them that you value there opinion and want to learn from them.

Be a team player

You will work in a team. The team can be 3 people, but it also can be 50 people. In any case, play for the team not against the team!

Learn the rituals and the systems of your team. Don't try to change it from the start. Observe and learn all the routines. Are you going together for a coffee? Is there one guy/girl that is loud in the office but everybody is okay with that.

If you want to change things around, then you must say why and how you would change it and what would be better if this one thing changed.

Relax

I know everything is new and you have to get used to it. Being stressed and under tension, all the time will not help you or your colleagues. I know it is a new step in your career path, and you want to do your best. Believe me, you are at your best when your calm and relaxed!

With these tips, your first day at your new work should be fantastic!

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Discussion

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kbariotis profile image
Kostas Bariotis

The company or your colleagues do not set these expectations! They are set by you! When you join a company, you are an unwritten page, and the only person who can write on that page is you!

What? Haven't you signed an employee's agreement? It's all there. Expectations and everything.

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Yeah indeed this post is full of stereotypes:

On your first day, decide what kind of guy you want to be? The 9 to 17 guy or the one who is staying longer.

There are no two different types of guys. Both are equal although you wouldn't want to be in an environment where they expect you to stay longer hours (unless there is some kind of an optional bonus scheme). In my current company, there is one where people can choose to stay longer to answer to support tickets and they will get paid extra. If you choose not to, it is just fine.

I understand the author's passion though, I was like that once. I wanted to differentiate from my colleagues and often times I would choose ways like that to do it, like staying longer just to prove that I "care more than the others". That kind of thinking is toxic though. The same author writes below Be a team player and that's the exact opposite of being a team player.

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

I'm a 9 am to 5 pm guy myself ;)

The point was that you will set social expectations.

No contract can handle this.

I have seen people work from 8am to 8pm o clock without any pressure from outside or get any extra bonus.

If you do that long enough you will set a standard for yourself and if you don't work as you would normal do. People will ask why and what happened ect etc.

That was my point

BTW: you can call it stereotypes or extremes. I call it making my point easier to understand. Writing about the middle default dev is kind of boring for the reader.

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kbariotis profile image
Kostas Bariotis

Thank you for clarifying, although I still don't get your point about social expectations. Yes if someone sees that you are online at 11am and working, they are probably going to ask you. What's your point?

Writing about the middle default dev is kind of boring for the reader

So what are you trying to write about if not the "middle default dev"? The 10x dev? But you are not calling that a stereotype?

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vinceramces profile image
Vince Ramces Oliveros

I tried all of this and it worked. After 5 months, I resigned. Saying that I can't work under pressure. I was not pressured and the time I spent working there are smooth. it's just that the "Work under pressure" means you need extra hours of work without getting paid.

It's a good start to follow these tips mentioned by the author. but when you face "expectation vs reality", things will be challenging.

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

I understand.

These are just tips and the real world always looks different.

With this, you can try to make it better but in the end it is only so much you can do.

If the company sucks in general then you are limited and yeah changing the job can be the best solution!

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Laughing Raven

By and large I agree with your article. My only point of contention is your notion about dress code. one of the reasons that the development community is not taking seriously is because we tend to dress like slobs. Hoodies blue jeans these things do not convey a professional image and therefore do not garner a professional response from our colleagues in other departments. If we want to be seen as professionals we should dress as professionals. A doctor dresses very well as does a lawyer as does an accountant. The way we look is very important and we should all be striving to improve the image of our industry and our profession

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

True.

Still it highly depends on the industry you are working in.

If you work for a bank dress like a banker
If you work for a surfer dress like a surfer

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rohansawant profile image
Rohan Sawant

Simple, well written, implement-able. 💯

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lampewebdev profile image
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scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

Some roles/companies do have expected working hours, so it is helpful to clarify that. Should you come in at 8 or 9? Is it flexible as long as I am in the office within between whatever hours? Or do I need to clock in/out at specific times?

Mistakes I have seen from teammates are rolling in wherever they want, leaving early and taking 2+ hour lunch breaks. On the first day/week too. For a variety of reasons, they did not last long.

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

Sure!

You should not make up your own rules 🤣😊

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presto412 profile image
Priyansh Jain

"There is also one hack if you don't want to start the conversation. Put a bowl of sweets next to you and write free candy on it. People will come to you!"

Gonna try this!

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blacksonic profile image
Gábor Soós

It also works with free stickers

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

haha, that should also work ;)

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sivenruot profile image
Lee AVULAT

Nice little advices.

One thing doe: "she perhaps is your future wife", don't.

There is plenty of women/men everywhere, and I would strongly advise you to keep it proffesional with your co-workers if you want a long run in a company. Not saying it's always easy to stick to this mojo doe 😅.

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

The funny thing is that in germany it is very common to meet your wife or husband at work for the first time ;)

So yeah maybe it depends on the region your from

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edinhadzovic profile image
edinhadzovic

Bring a box of Dunkin Donuts

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

In Germany (or in europe general) it is not that easy to get donuts at all :D

but yeah do that ;)

lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

How long can one person stay frustrated and do a good job?

Not very long because they will be at some point so frustrated that they just don't care anymore.

by relaxed, I mean that you can focus on your work and get it done without stressing about it.

If you think all the time that this job sucks or that you will not finish it then you are thinking about stuff that does not help and also takes away from the focus of the main goal. So yeah relaxed people that can focus on getting things done are usually in the long run better.

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charleswritescode profile image
Charles-Eugene Loubao

I start my first Software Developer job in 2 weeks and this is exactly what I needed to see!! Thank you 🙏🏾

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

Glad I could help :)

Have a fantastic start in 2 weeks!

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rifaimartin profile image
Rifai Martin

like it, Speak to all your colleagues

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jaquino94 profile image
Justin

Thanks for this! I start my very first developer job in January and was unsure of how I should/could start my first day especially as a new grad

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

Thank you very much :)

Hope it will help with the next job :)

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lampewebdev profile image
Michael "lampe" Lazarski Author

So if you are stressed, frustrated and panaking you do good work?

Are you trolling?