The first day of work can be disorienting. In a way it feels like the first day of school—meeting a whole group of people who seem to know each other well and are comfortable with each other. There are things you can do to make the first day a smooth and enjoyable experience.

These tips are general, but they can be effective. If you work in a business where there are 100 people on the floor, you’ll have a much different experience than an office with ten people, but the tips still apply—just on a larger scale.

The first thing you should do is introduce yourself. Obviously this doesn’t mean you should have a lengthy conversation with 100 people—if that’s the size of the office—but you should introduce yourself to your immediate colleagues and superiors. Some jobs require several different interviewers so re-introduce yourself to these people and thank them for the opportunity.

In order to do this, you should take notes after your interview—to write down the names of interviewers as well as the information discussed. This information will be useful once you start employment. You will have probably done some research about the company before the interview—or at least you should have—and you should now research the business more fully.

As you are now a full-fledged employee, it can be exciting to discover exactly where you will be working. You should study the company’s website, newsletters, as well as any articles about the company. In addition, you should read up on the competition and any industry trends.

Just as you took notes after the interview, take notes during your workday as well—names, responsibilities, personality traits, anything relevant that will help you get to know the business. It’s important to ask questions, but know where and when is the right time. It’s better to be a good listener than a good talker—it’s more important that you learn about the business than they employees learn about you, especially early on.

There’s a lot that goes on in any office—power plays between employees, employees who are on the rise, even office romances. These will give you a sense of who to talk to when you have a problem and who can be the most beneficial to you in the long term.

Hopefully, you’ll get some help on your first day of work—a detailed orientation rather than a baptism by fire. Some jobs like to drop you right in the middle of things to see how you handle it. Other jobs will let you take baby steps. There’s no telling which variant you get, but you should come prepared for the former. Come prepared thinking that you’ll have to learn a lot on your own without explicit instructions.

On your first day, come early, dress well, be eager and attentive, and work late if you have to. You only get one chance for a first impression so make it a good one. There’s no doubt that the first day of work can be both exhilarating and stressful. If you have an open mind and you are willing to do some hard work, your transition into the business should go smoothly.

Photo Credit:  timoni