When you are just starting a new job, the burning question is: How do I make a good impression? Thinking about what you should or should not do or say may make you anxious. There are a lot of people who will give you advice or first day job tips based on his or her own experiences.

Sometimes the advice goes against who you are. You may be thinking: Why do I need to act differently or be someone who I am not?

The other day, one of my coaching clients told me she was networking with another woman in her same field. While not currently her mentor, she offered some pointers for her first day on the job. The first day job tips re:

  • At first, talk as little as possible.
  • Only say things that are necessary.
  • Understand how the team works.
  • If you don’t understand something, don’t ask. Find out the answer on your own.
  • Only ask good questions.
  • Don’t bother your boss with questions.

Now some of you may be saying – you’ve got to be joking – what was this women advising – is this really what I should be doing?

An important piece of the puzzle is that cultural influences are a major factor in the advice that was given. My coaching client is from and works in the Middle East. While women are in the workforce, very few of them are considered highly promotable. Women who want to advance will be paving the way for other women. Learning how to fit into the male dominated workforce is a significant differentiation.

We talked about the first day job tips. It was important to understand “why” a tip is given. When you understand the “why”, then you can modify it based on circumstances and your own unique personality.

First day job tips help you assimilate into an organization or group more quickly. Tips provide the wake-up call that the organization’s or group’s needs will dominate over your own needs – at least initially.

What job tips do you offer to people who are going to a new organization? Are there differences in your tips based on gender or culture?