6 Things You Should Do On Your First Day On the Job


Written by Jarrett Ng

The first day at a new job is always daunting - for the unaccustomed, it may seem like the most anxiety-inducing thing in the world. As someone who’s had experience getting through plenty of nervy first days in both part-time and full-time jobs, I understand the fears you may face - you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, nor screw up on your first day. Don’t worry - we at FastJobs are here to help you navigate these waters and make a good first impression, with our list of things you should do on your first day on the job.

Ask questions

Ask, ask, ask. We cannot stress this enough. Not only does asking questions help you gather the necessary information you need to do your job efficiently, it shows a willingness to take initiative and displays your curiosity in learning.

To help get you settled in quickly, why not try preparing a list of general and practical questions related to helping you succeed in your job beforehand? That way, you’ll be able to cover all your bases and ensure that you’re prepared enough to get going on your first day. For example, a retail assistant may ask, “what are the things I need to know from my customers to recommend a product?”, or an F&B server may ask, “what could I recommend to someone who asks for what’s good on the menu?”. If you’re looking for retail or F&B jobs to learn and grow from, check out the job listings posted on FastJobs!

Show up early

The early bird catches the worm - and showing up early, especially on your first day, would do wonders in making you look good in front of your employers. Punctuality is a key trait employers want to see in every employee, and what better way to show it than to be on time for work? 

For starters, a good rule of thumb would be to arrive 15 minutes early - not too early for you to be seen as trying too hard, but not too late to get affected by unforeseen circumstances. You should also practice the commute from home to work once or twice before your first day - one must expect the unexpected.


As you walk through the doors of your new workplace, you start sweating profusely, your skin gets clammy, and you feel your heart racing. You have no idea what’s going on - you are confused as to what to do, or where to go. 

That’s not a good look on your first day, which is why you must relax and calm down! Take deep breaths, and slowly gather your thoughts. This also ties in well with being on time, so give yourself plenty of wiggle room to stay calm and composed.

Relaxing puts you in the optimal mindset to succeed on your first day, while panicking would only serve to make things worse - especially in a high-pressure environment such as F&B work. 

Don’t try too hard

On the other hand, you may get overly excited on your first day and really want to make a good first impression. As a result, you get overly enthusiastic and talk too much when you really should be listening.

Well, hold your horses there. Sometimes, trying too hard can backfire on you and make you appear desperate. You don’t have to overly impress everyone because you are already part of the company - the window to sell yourself was during the selection process! Trying too hard to impress may also put off some of your colleagues, which would defeat its entire purpose. 

Observe, listen, and learn

In a new job, we’d like to think that observation and listening are the greatest teachers. Written words and instructions are good ways to get your footing, but what better way to learn than to see these words put into action? Even if no formal demonstrations are provided to you, it’s always beneficial to watch the masters in action as they showcase their craft in their day-to-day work. Don’t know how to persuade a customer? Clueless on how to prepare a particular dish? Watch and learn.

If things are getting a little too complicated, take note of everything you see or hear - if it’s too fast for you to catch up, note down specific keywords that form a gist of what you’re supposed to learn - next time you need to refer to it, it’ll be easier for your mind to fill in the gaps of what you have learned. 

Have a positive attitude

No one likes to work with a Debbie Downer - and thus it’s also important to take note of the image you portray to your employers and colleagues in your facial expressions, body language, and overall demeanour, especially on your first day.

Even the small things can go a long way, such as smiling and keeping an upright posture - this highlights an openness to communicate and project a high level of energy that would surely enhance your standing in the workplace. Your coworkers will like you, they’ll be more receptive, and they will be more willing to teach you. Furthermore, if you’re working in customer-centric jobs - your pleasant image would help you immensely in your work.

In Summary

The art of making a good first impression is important if you want to succeed in any career, and we at FastJobs hope that these snippets of advice would go a long way to help you get started at any new job you work for. And if you haven’t found a job in Singapore, what are you waiting for? Download the FastJobs app and explore the various part-time and full-time jobs we have to offer.