Congratulations! You’ve landed a new entry-level job in the low-voltage field! Now what?
Here are Six Tips For Being a Star Employee on Your First Day
Starting a new job can be exciting but also nerve-wracking during the initial learning stages. Making a great first impression is one of the most crucial aspects of starting a new career. Today, I will outline six tips for being a star employee on the first day that will help you prove yourself and build lasting professional relationships as you embark on your new career journey. These tips work even if you have no experience.
Punctuality and attendance are Key
Your most crucial action when meeting your new team is arriving on time. Arriving on time shows you to be reliable, committed, and disciplined! To accomplish this, you should plan the night before. Shower, set your clothes out, have your tools and safety gear ready in your vehicle, plan your commute, get to sleep on time to ensure you are well rested, set your alarm, and leave early to overcome any unforeseen delays.
Would you rather have the most popular parachute on the planet that sometimes deploys when needed or a simple, cost-effective parachute that always deploys? Most people will choose the parachute that always deploys for apparent reasons. Companies think the same way. They would rather have an entry-level employee who always shows up than a skilled one who is hit-or-miss.
The second of my six tips for being a star employee on your first day. Upon arrival, report to your supervisor to inform them you have arrived on time; if you arrive early, call within 15 minutes of your scheduled start time as a respectful time frame.
Confirm any job site details concerning parking, sign-in, badging, orientation, or onboarding.
Dress appropriately in uniform or, if a uniform has yet to be issued, dress according to the established dress code: collared shirt, work pants (no holes or tears), and safety boots. Refrain from wearing uniforms issued to you by previous employers! How would it look if Coke hired a new employee, and that person wore an old Pepsi uniform?
Represent the company well with your appearance. Have your personal protective equipment and tools with you at all times, along with any identification or credentials and anything else the job site requires you to have with you. Familiarize yourself with company policies and come prepared with questions.
You should be ready to confirm the payroll process, how to clock in/out, expense reimbursement, or anything else you are uncertain of. Being prepared will demonstrate that you are organized and proactive instead of waiting to be told what to do. Being prepared is sure to leave a positive impression.
Communication is crucial to success in any role. You are always giving a message whether it is verbal or physical. Pay attention to your body language. For instance, if you are strolling and dragging along while at work, you are saying, “I don’t want to be here.”
If you encounter issues onsite or have questions, ask your supervisor. If you find yourself trying to figure out what is next, where to go, or what to do, standing around and wondering is not a good place to be. Always confirm what you should be doing and notify your supervisor when you are ready for the next task as soon as you have completed the assigned work.
In summary, effective communication boils down to not assuming or ignoring anything that requires your participation, always confirming what you should be doing, and always confirming what you should be doing next.
Positive Attitude 101
Display a positive attitude by being passionate about your career and enthusiastic about learning your new trade. Be approachable, smile, make eye contact, be polite, and treat every one of any level with respect. Building relationships with colleagues, superiors, and subordinates is vital to making a great first impression.
Seek out opportunities for networking and take an interest in getting to know your coworkers. Building positive relationships early on can lead to a more enjoyable and productive work environment.
Adapt and learn: every workplace has unique dynamics and culture. Adapt to change. Embrace new challenges and be willing to learn from your mistakes.
Show that you’re a team player who can contribute to the company’s growth. Showing your team you are there to contribute to their tasks and goals will position you in a positive light. When we think of a sports team, no one gets upset with the player who scores points for the team. The same concept applies in the workplace when you contribute to shared goals.
Putting the Ethic in “Work Ethic”!
You don’t need technical skills to have a strong work ethic. First, be present and focus; put away cell phones or anything distracting. Prioritize your workflow and spend your time wisely. Take ownership and be accountable to your team to finish assigned tasks safely and on time.
If you find yourself with downtime, assist others as a team player. When playing sports, if you don’t have the ball, do you stand around and wait for the play to finish, or do you help your team member score? Be honest because this will help you as a person! But also, in the field, this approach will prevent delays, avoid safety risks, and foster trust with your team.
Have discipline, and don’t take shortcuts. If you find yourself taking too long, ask your supervisor for help to determine why this is taking you longer than it should so you can improve. Anticipate the next move and get ahead of it. If you have performed tasks 1 through 3 over and over all day, don’t wait around to be told. Just get it done!
A strong work ethic amounts to taking away all the excuses. Excuses like ” you don’t feel like it,” “it’s Friday, and you are checked out,” and ” you don’t agree with the choices that are being made” are not valid reasons to underperform. Instead, whatever the circumstance, persevere. Apply maximum effort and do your best at the job every time.
Perspective to Speed Up Learning
The last of the six tips for being a star employee on your first day. Listening and learning is an excellent and traditional way to be a student in the craft trades. However, you can be an active listener and take direction, but people conduct on-the-job training, and some people train better than others. For example, if you were told, “Today we will learn how to build rockets. Do you have any questions?”, where would you even start? You need help understanding what to ask.
Here is a simple trick I picked up that helped me speed up my learning. Pretend that your supervisors and support staff will be leaving in one week. You will never be left alone; however, adding that pretend pressure WILL change your perspective on the level of attention you give and will influence what kind of questions you ask. Because your internal goal is now to understand how to do the job on your own and get it done “after they leave, ” instead of just understanding the task, you will begin to ask questions to help you understand why you are on that task, how did you get there, when and what is next.
When you think you will be assigned the project without anyone leading you, you will begin to expedite your training to prepare for the bigger picture instead of just accomplishing a single task. This trick will help you start thinking about asking the right questions to see the big picture, become more independent in your role, and lead your own teams eventually.
Additionally, treat the job as if it were your company, take ownership of your tasks, and take responsibility for completing the project on time and with quality craftsmanship. You will never grow into a true leader if you don’t take the first step – ownership. TradeSTAR offers basic instruction for career seekers in the low voltage field. You can learn more here.
Starting a new job is an opportunity to make a positive first impression that can set the tone for your career with a company.
You can apply all of these tips at any time to benefit your career. Being reliable, honest, communicating effectively, appearing professional/ prepared, focusing on the team and goals rather than yourself, working hard, and taking extreme ownership of all failures and successes are all attributes of a Great Leader! Be a Star Employee on day one by looking and behaving like a Leader while being trained in the technical skills that allow you to grow into your promotions and success!
I hope my six tips for being a star employee on your first day have helped shape your thoughts and habits to succeed in life and in your career. If you have the leadership qualities outlined and would like to start a career in Technology Integration, contact me, I am interested in speaking with you!
Ray – 832-245-5068
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