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Your First Day in a New Manufacturing Position

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You landed a job in the manufacturing sector…Congratulations! You made it through the resume review process, the interview stage, and the final offer, and you’re ready to start work in just a few days. You know that your employers have high expectations and you have no intention of letting them down. If all goes well, you’ll step in the door and start learning the ropes quickly, and within a few weeks you’ll be mastering the basics and ready for more responsibility. Here are a few tips that can help you launch this process on the right foot.

Show up early on your first day.

Try to get to work at least 15 to 20 minutes early on your first day. You may not know how to get started, so someone will need to show you to your workstation and give you instructions and this can take time. Meanwhile, you’ll probably have paperwork to take care of with your manager or your new HR team, and allowing a few extra minutes can make this process easier for everyone.

Be patient.

On the first day of a new warehouse or shop floor position, expect a little confusion and a few hold ups. The person who shows you to your workstation may have to leave you alone before your trainer or mentor shows up, for example. Or your formal supervisor may be busy and may have to send someone else to welcome you in her stead. If you have to stand and wait for a few minutes for your new employer to sort out these details, don’t worry that you’re making the wrong impression. You’re fine. Just keep your eyes and ears open and learn as you go.

Remember names.

Of course you’ll have to remember everything you’re taught on this first day regarding your role and responsibilities. But make sure you also remember the names of every person who greets you, trains you, answers your questions, or moves you from one part of the process to another. This small extra effort will pay off later.

Take notes.

Ask plenty of questions about everything that pertains to your position, this company, and the expectations that will be placed upon you, and write down the answers so you don’t have to ask the same questions more than once.

Don’t overreach.

Before you’ve learned how to operate a piece of equipment, don’t just grab the controls. Before you receive clear instructions, don’t take action based on your assumptions. You can make these bold moves later, but not on your first day. Use this day to listen, learn, and get the lay of the land. For more on how to step into your manufacturing role and start gaining the trust of your new employer, reach out to the career management team at CSS.

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