First day at work - dos and donts on your big day

The Butler Bureau - for domestic staff and their employers

Hey, congratulations - you got the job ! Use the opportunity to improve yourself and donít blow it with inappropriate behaviour.

What were you unhappy about in your last position? While you are in the honeymoon period make sure those problems donít arise again.

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Your first day on the job

So itís your first day in the new job - here are a few tips to help you to set off on the right foot:

On your marks....

  • Remember that the impact you make in the first few days will have a lasting effect on the way you are perceived by your employer and other staff.
  • Use the opportunity to adopt a new approach re areas that, in the past, you had problems with e.g. delegating, communicating.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth relatively shut for the first few days until you establish the lay of the land.
  • Make a point of remembering the names of the people you will come into contact with regularly (jot them down in your little black book if it helps).
  • Watch, listen and, if in doubt, ask!

Find your feet

  • As soon as feasibly possible request a meeting with your new boss to run through your job description. Ask questions. Better to be honest now while you are being Ďchampionedí rather than 6 months down the line.
  • Establish where you fit into the heirarchy of the household - you donít want to be seen delegating to staff who are not within your remit or failing to direct someone who is.
  • Establish the personal relationships (if any) within the household - is the Gardener in a relationship with the Housekeeper? This is important stuff!
  • Once you are confident re all of the above call a staff meeting of those under your control and give them the opportunity to raise areas in which they have problems or concerns. Follow this up with one-on-one meetings afterwards. Their being happy and productive in their work reflects well on you so this will pay dividends in the future.
  • Who is disgruntled? Is there someone that feels hard done by? Maybe they feel that they should have had your job rather than you?

Itís not just who you know....

  • Itís all too easy to form special relationships with some members of the work force in the beginning. Weíre talking about friendship here - nothing more! Avoid this. Some staff will be friendly towards you, others may be waiting to see how you perform and are so witholding judgement - good for them. Donít alienate the cautious ones by becoming overly friendly to individuals or a clique.
  • Any job environment or household is full of internal politics and gossip - do not give anyone the ammunition that could come back to haunt you later.
  • Be friendly, professional and polite to everyone. Once you are secure in your position and understand all of the above THEN you can consider changes that might need to be made.
  • Youíll soon spot the staff who need help and direction. Offer it to them in a professional and friendly way. Help people out in any way you can (without being taken advantage of) and you will soon be the respected professional that you deserve to be.
How to scre it up...

How to screw up on the first day:

  • Coming in with all guns blazing
  • Failing to establish the heirachy
  • Not having a meeting with the boss
  • Forming early friendships
  • Wanting to be liked by everyone
  • Not understanding the internal politics
  • Giving ammunition to the gossips
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