First day in the office – your guide.

It’s Sunday night and you’re starting your new office job in the morning. If you’ve never worked in an office before, you will definitely find this short guide useful!


Dress Code

This is something you’ll be thinking about before you even get to work. What should you wear?

The different levels of formality in an office can be a nightmare. From casual to formal and everything in between – and there are many mixed opinions are what the scale entails. The best thing you can do (if you have not previously scoped out the office dress code!) is to think ‘interview’. Dress to impress, but subtly.


  • Be clean
  • Be neat (No scuffs on clothes, no half painted fingernails, no ripped shirts!)
  • Keep your colours neutral


  • Try anything you’re not comfortable in
  • Wear anything too revealing or daring


Learning names

Most people will struggle to learn names when there are more than two people in the room. It’s normal!

A brilliant trick to help you remember names, bond with your new colleagues, AND get in their good books, is to make a round of tea (or coffee!)

As you ask each person how they like their drink,  you can WRITE down their preference alongside their name. Write yourself a floor plan if it helps! (This may be a little time consuming if you work in a multi storey call center – more useful if you work in a small office!


Answering the phones

For a beginner, this can be pretty daunting. The thing you must bear in mind is that you’re probably not in a situation to help the person at the end of the phone on your first day, but it is a great opportunity to learn. The best thing you can do is to act as a receptionist. You should have heard a few of your new colleagues answering the phone, so you should have an idea of the expected format. For example, at Essential we tend to answer with a variation on ‘Good morning/afternoon, Essential Recruitment, Jane speaking’

-Answer the phone
-If you can resolve the issue – great. Do so. If you can’t, either respond with: “Could you please hold for a moment whilst I look find the relevant person/look into your query etc” or “‘OK, I wouldn’t be able to help you with that issue/query, and the relevant person is on another line. Can I take a message?”

In either circumstance, you should obtain the following details:

  • The caller’s name (and contact details)
  • The company they are calling from (if relevant)
  • What the phone call was regarding.

This means if you are transferring the call to a colleague, you could say “There is a Jane from Essential Recruitment on the line, calling about the staff you requested”

If you’re taking a message because the others are busy, then you would take the caller’s contact details alongside the message, to give a well informed, detailed (useful!) note to your colleague.

Learning your role.

Making your own ‘idiot’s guide’ is perfect. Not only will it be a brilliant resource for you to refer back to it, it will show you are eager to learn and get things right. Even if you think you’ll remember, write it down.

Learn the workplace culture

Your first day should consist of looking, listening and learning. Alongside soaking in the details of your daily tasks, you should make an effort to observe the behavious of the room.

Are you colleagues chatty? What to they talk about?
Do they make many jokes? What is acceptable and what isn’t?
How do they dress?

Observing and joining in with these cultural traits will help to ease  you in to a new environment. As an extension of this, try joining in any traditions the workers may have, such as favorite lunchtime haunts, post-work pub trips etc.


Lastly- Good luck! You’re not expected to know everything on the first day, or the second or the third! Just relax, learn, and enjoy your new role.