Your first day in a new job is a bit like your first day of school.
Everything feels foreign: you're desperately seeking caffeine but have no idea where the kitchen is; you’ve forgotten everyone’s names by 10am; and you probably won’t go to the toilet until lunchtime because you’re worried about getting lost and having to ask Sue from accounts to walk you back to your desk.
However, when it comes to absolute first day no-nos, according to careers expert Jason Sackett, an executive coach and co-author of Compassion@Work: Creating Workplaces that Engage the Human Spirit, there’s one that reigns supremeWhen you’re meeting new people at work, it can be all too easy to dive into the sordid details of your ghastly commute, which invariably would’ve been plagued by rain, making you ‘SO pleased’ that you decided to wear the leather ankle boots instead of the white peep-toe sandals.
All of these intricacies might be fascinating to you, because maybe you’re a millennial, in which case you’re probably a self-entitled narcissist, but the thing is, your new colleagues simply don’t care about the ins and outs of your life, at least not yet.
They just met you; if you go in guns-blazing with stories about your life, they’ll dismiss you as self-obsessed from the get go, not exactly the first impression you were hoping for.
“To start gaining respect of colleagues and superiors on the first day, make it about them, not about you,” Sackett told Glassdoor.
The key, he says, is to put them at ease and the best way to do this is by showing a vested interest in their lives rather than yours.
“A common first-day trap is to talk up your own past accomplishments and future ambitions, which makes people nervous or annoyed because they don’t know you,” he said.
“Instead, get curious and enquire about the roles, talents, and achievements of your colleagues to establish a persona as a listener, learner, and collaborator.”
It shouldn’t be too hard to get them to talk, given that studies show most people’s favourite topic of communication is actually themselves.
In fact, research has shown that talking about ourselves activates the same region in the brain as eating good foods and having sex - if that isn’t self-love, what is?