First day in a new IT contract – Ten Dos and Donts

First Day of a new contract
First Day of a new contract

First Day of Contract

There are a number of traps waiting for you on your first day at work. Mistakes you make will define what the permanent staff and managers thinks about you. Here are some of the do‘s and don‘ts.

1. Don‘t get in late on first day

The boss will be waiting for you and it won‘t look good if he starts to worry. It gets really bad if he calls up the agency who will then call you up wherever you are.

2. Don‘t not turn up

Even if you do have another job, don‘t just fail to appear. Tell the agency beforehand – even if you have signed a contract. They may just be mad enough to sue you if you do. If you explain beforehand, then even if they don‘t like it, it doesn‘t make them look so bad. They will have first chance to replace you.

3. Don‘t turn up for work in your Porsche

Come in your second car (if you have one). This may be less relevant in a downturn. However, there are some contractors who worked all the way through it on their old rates.

4. Do try to remember people‘s names

Remember people’s names when you are introduced to them, when you are taken round to meet everybody. It‘s always difficult to remember everybody‘s name. However, it helps if you are able to address them by their name when you want them for something.

5. Don‘t make some smarmy line on first day

to one of the girls when you are being introduced to her. Quite a lot of people will be able to hear it. It will make the guys think that you are a bit of a t****r and it will make the girls think that you are a bit of a creep.

6. When the boss starts telling you about the project

and the job you will be doing, look interested. Don‘t yawn, much as you would like to. Take some notes. It makes it look like you are taking an interest and it also gives you something to do to help relieve the boredom.

7. When you are given a couple of dull manuals on first day

and documentation about the project, try to summarise what is in the documents. It helps you to remember what is there, and it makes you look dynamic on your first day.

8. Whatever you are given to read, write down a few questions

that you can ask the boss when he or she comes round. It makes you look like you are taking it seriously.

9. Don‘t ask what the local pubs are like on first day

until you know the people better. Although most people drink you don‘t want it to look high up on your priority list.

10. If they ask you to go to the pub on your first day there,

definitely go – especially if it is the boss who is asking you. It gives you the opportunity for you to get to know the people you will be working with in a neutral venue. They will be curious about you. No matter how much you are enjoying yourself don‘t stay over the permitted time – unless of course the boss suggests it.

The first day is your most important day (if the most boring), so make sure you get through it without incident. Everyone will be watching you closely to see what kind of a person you are.

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