Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How Was Your First Day at Work?

Happy New Year!
Chinese New Year brings a number of good memories for me. One of them involves my best ever first day at work.

I had been hired as an international sales and marketing manager, responsible for the Asia Pacific region. My first day of work was also the first day of the Lunar New Year. The entire international department went out for dim sum.

I absolutely love dim sum, but the experience is even more enriching when you have native Chinese accompanying you. They can order in Chinese, and they actually know what everything is. There were at least two Chinese people in our department, including my boss, who paid for the lunch on the company credit card.

Sweet! It was a comfortable and fun way to get to know my new colleagues. But the fun wasn't over. As the lunch drew to an end, my new boss turned to me. "Sally, most of us are carpooling over to AAA to apply for our international drivers licenses. I need someone to drive my car back to work. Will you do it?"

My boss drove a sleek black Porsche convertible. I had never driven one before. But would I do it? No question. I was flattered that on my first day of work, my boss entrusted me with that responsibility.

As I cruised (carefully!) back to the office after that delicious Chinese feast, I thought I had found the best job ever. I wasn't too far wrong.

I have had many first days and some of them have been surprisingly disappointing. How one is onboarded, starting with the first day - and actually even before, during the interview process - is a key indicator of their future experiences with the organization and the culture within it.

How do you welcome a new employee? What do you want them to experience on their first day? What was your best experience of a first day at work?

What was your worst first day at work?

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