The first day on the job for construction workers can be intimidating, especially for someone brand new to the industry. As the saying goes, you only have the chance to make a first impression once, and, of course, you want to do everything possible to make that impression a good one. Part of the Building Skills model is job readiness to make sure the first day and week go smoothly. Here are five quick tips for your first day at work:
- Know Where to Show Up
It may sound like a no-brainer but take an extra moment to make sure you know exactly where to report on your first day. The night before, map out the address of the site and determine how you plan on getting there. If something’s unclear, it’s better to play it safe and give the foreman a call to get specifics. New Yorkers know better than anyone that public transportation can cause unexpected delays. Take that into account when plotting your morning route.
- Being Early is Being on Time
When reporting to work on your first day, it can be helpful to remember the old saying, “early is on time, on time is late.” Showing up just 10 to 15 minutes early on your first day will demonstrate to your new boss that you are both reliable and more than ready to get to work. In the construction industry, being early is the norm. No matter your role on a jobsite, it’s crucial to be punctual and make sure everything you need is in order and ready to go.
- Come Prepared
Know the construction uniform, and dress accordingly – this includes jeans or other durable pants, a short- or long-sleeved breathable shirt, sturdy boots, and gloves. In terms of safety gear, you should pack your own personal protective equipment (PPE) – including a hard hat, work gloves, ear protectors, safety goggles and masks – but you may also want check with your employer beforehand to see if there is any special safety gear you’ll need for your new job.
- Ask Questions
Asking questions shows that you are paying attention and that you want to do your best. When you do ask a question, however, try to be sure the answer isn’t something you could have easily figured out yourself. Fellow team members can serve as good resources for questions about the day-to-day operations of the site. If the question is more complex, then ask your supervisor.
- Pay Attention
The best way to quickly absorb information and potentially answer initial questions you might have, is by paying close attention to what’s happening around you. If you’ve switched projects in construction before, you know that each site has its own culture. During your first few weeks, you’re the “new kid on the block.” Keep an open mind and listen to your supervisor and fellow crew members so you can quickly get up to speed.