Last updated: Aug 20, 2009
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The first day at an new company isn't that different from the fist day of school: You don't want to fall flat on your face getting off the bus. Your reputation at the company depends on it. Here's how to survive the first day and get off to a great start.

First Impressions Count:
Its important to make a great impression on your first day at work. Peter Post, co-author of The Etiquette Advantage in Business says, “If youre late, youll start off on the wrong foot. If you arrive five minutes early, people take notice. Reflect the attire of that company youre joining. The two most important things are to be on time and dress appropriately.”

Its All in a Name:
Have trouble remembering names? Peter Post suggests, “Do your homework. Find out who youll be working with from a hiring manager prior to your first day. Get a list of 3 or 4 names so you already have a name to put to a face. When you do get there, repeat their name a couple of times so you imprint that persons name on your brain.”

Dress to Impress:
Dont know what to wear? Fashion stylist Sarah Conroy says, “The most important thing to do is ask about the dress code before your first day.” If you dont have the opportunity to check the dress code, Conroy suggests wearing “A nice pair of slacks with a top that doesnt show too much skin.” She adds, “I would also bring a removable sweater or jacket, as well as carry an extra pair of shoes in my bag. You could wear a flat or a heel depending on how dressed up everyone is. Its important to blend in at work.”

Fashion Emergency:
“To maintain your professional look throughout the day, keep a garment care kit filled with a safety pin, sewing kit, a stain stick and an extra pair of hose or tights in your desk so youre prepared for a quick fix situation,” Conroy says.

Invited to a last minute company dinner?
“That is the exact reason why every woman should keep a dressier pair of shoes at her desk. It might be a smart idea to keep accessories around, as well as your staple pieces of makeup at your desk to refresh your look before heading out."