Congratulations, you got the job! Now comes the hard part – your first day of work. First impressions mean a lot, and you want to do everything you can to make a good one. Because construction workers often move to different worksites once projects – or specific parts of projects – are completed, these workers may have several “first days” per year – or even per month. Moving from job to job can be fun, but it can also be stressful or even intimidating. Meeting and adjusting to new supervisors and crews, all of whom have different work styles, requires flexibility, adaptability, confidence, and communication skills. The good news is that every time you change jobs, you’re building these and other skills. Follow these tips to make a good impression on all your first days!
Being prepared for your first day on the job starts with the days leading up to it. If you’re coming from a previous construction job, it’s helpful to give yourself a mental reset by taking a break for a few days, if at all possible. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before your first day so you wake rested, energized, and ready to take on the day ahead of you. Know beforehand whether or not you are expected to bring your own tools. Depending on your trade, the job may require special clothing or equipment, so make sure to know what’s expected of you.
Ask the Right Questions
Asking questions shows that you are paying attention and that you want to do your best. Don’t be afraid of sounding stupid; it’s better to ask a question before you’re on the jobsite, where your safety and the safety of others may be at risk if you make a mistake! When you do ask, however, try to be sure the answer isn’t something you could have easily figured out yourself. Fellow members of your crew can serve as good resources for questions about the day-to-day operations of the site. If the question is more complex or needs a superior’s answer, then try asking your supervisor.
Learn the Worksite Culture
The best way to absorb information 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 are the “new kid on the block.” Keep an open mind and listen to your supervisor and fellow crew members when working on a new task. You may have an alternate suggestion on the best way to do something but you should try out the worksite’s way of doing things before offering your opinion.
Ready to find your next construction job? You can get access to Building Skills NY construction job and training opportunities by checking out our Job Seekers page.