REVEALED: The biggest mistakes made on the first day at a new job

Biggest mistake at work

by Eden-Olivia Lord |
Published on

These are the biggest mistakes made by employees on their first day - but how many have you done?

Arriving late, wearing inappropriate clothes - and bumping a colleague’s vehicle in the car park are among the biggest blunders made by employees on their first day at work, a study has found.

A poll of almost 3,000 workers revealed almost half have made a bad first impression after having a terrible or humiliating start to a new job.

Others arrived to find they were completely over-dressed, spilled tea everywhere, got lost en-route to the office and said something inappropriate because they were nervous.

Check out: The top 30 life experiences that Brits wish they could tick off their bucket lists


The top 30 life experiences that Brits wish they could tick off their bucket lists (slider)

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30 - Go glamping29 - Get a dog28 - Go sky diving27 - Learn to dance26 - Try bungee jumping

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25 - Live in another country24 - Go to a casino in Las Vegas23 - Get a tattoo22 - Write a novel21 - Quit your job

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20 - Change your career19 - Learn to fly a plane18 - Apply to be an extra in a movie or television show17 - Research your family tree16 - Eat in a Michelin starred restaurant

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15 - Get married14 - Run a marathon13 - Learn a language12 - Move house11 - Drive a rally car

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10 - Ski9 - Ride in a helicopter8 - Go on a cruise7 - Learn to play a musical instrument6 - Drive Route 66

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5 - Travel on the Orient Express4 - Swim with dolphins3 - Fly First Class2 - Visit the seven wonders of the world1 - See the Northern Lights

But 95 per cent feel it’s important to make a good first impression on others when starting a new job, with 82 per cent believing they’re more likely to make a positive impact on their first day if they know they’ve got their clothing spot on.

The study was commissioned by 4imprint, as part of its ‘First Impressions’ campaign, having recently released a new range of corporate clothing to help UK organisations and their employees create a strong and lasting impression.

Turning up wildly over or even under-dressed was among the mistakes new workers do on a first day, with more than seven in 10 wishing they had a uniform for work, in a bid to make their first day – and consequently first impressions – easier to manage.

Spilling coffee at work

Other first-day nightmares to appear in the top 30 list include finding there was no allocated desk or computer to work at and being late due to nasty traffic.

Having a wardrobe malfunction and accidentally sending a sensitive email as a ‘staff all’ also feature in the list.

Meanwhile, one in three British workers have been introduced to someone on day one at work, then immediately forgotten their name.

One fifth have also been so nervous they’ve ended up blurting out something inappropriate or stupid - leading to quizzical looks from colleagues.

Others have accidently damaged company property, been over-friendly and had to ask how to turn the computer on.

Nightmare at work

But researchers found those who excelled on their first day put it down to being fully prepared and sufficiently knowledgeable about the company.

And when it comes to making a good impression, 58 per cent say arriving early works wonders while 57 per cent try to ask intelligent questions.

British employees top 30 first-day nightmare


British employees top 30 first-day nightmare - STACKED

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  1. Learned someone's name then immediately forgotten it 2) Got someone's name wrong 3) Was just too nervous 4) Finding they had no computer / desk to work at 5) Said something stupid due to nerves 6) Arrived at the wrong work address
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  1. Turned up completely overdressed compared to everyone else 8) Worn shoes that ended up being agonisingly painful by the end of the day 9) Had to have something simple explained numerous times 10) Got there late due to traffic 11) Being told they wasn't the 'first choice candidate'12) Forgotten the code to get in or out of the office
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  1. Got there late due to public transport problems 14) Put their foot in their mouth during a conversation with someone 15) Turned up completely underdressed compared to everyone else 16) Been over friendly 17) Accidentally sent a sensitive email as a 'staff all'18) Made someone's tea wrong
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  1. Said something inappropriate to a new colleague20) Got there late due to other reasons21) Damaged company property22) Spilled tea everywhere23) Took too long on a lunch break24) Got the company name wrong
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work nightmares

  1. Went to the wrong address26) Asked how to turn their computer on27) Had a wardrobe malfunction like trousers splitting28) Took a personal call that was frowned upon29) Worn a tie when nobody else was wearing one30) Had to leave early due to a family emergency.

Do you have any funny or embarrassing stories from your first day at a new job? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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