Navigating Work Life in The Arab World: 8 Don’ts On Your First Day At Work

There are so many ways your first day can go wrong, or right…you arrive at a new place, meet new people and suddenly life feels more like a chess game where every move counts and first impressions always last. Below we (humble staff at Scoop) gathered a list of the things we think you should consider not doing on your first day of work. That could be anything from shying away from talking to people, to over sharing your entire life story to the first person you meet in the office.

Over or Under dressing

It is a good idea not to take Khalaf Al Dahshoury as your role model. This is a no brainer, yet many of us still make the mistake of miscalculating the level of formality/causality needed for the new job. This differs from one job to another. If you are working in a creative industry, make sure to refrain from formal outfits and pick something that shows the real you. Wear something you feel most comfortable in.

Via Al Ain

Don’t Be Like Atef from Al Nazer Movie

You are hired and this is your first day…your first day can be more than just orientation and networking. Come prepared to actually start working.

Do not get distracted

This is for the hopeless romantic Arab men and women, keeping it professional at work can save you lots of trouble. This involves your extremely attractive coworker who you want to strike up a conversation with. Remember that you are here to elevate your career, stick to that plan.

Via Filfan

Don’t forget to bring a notebook and a snack!

By simply taking notes along the day can make you come out as a serious or even trustworthy person. It could be notes related to your tasks at work, or any observation you want to write down and revisit later. A pen and a paper go a long way.

Do not Over Share or Gossip

Since you just joined the team, the older employees might try starting a conversation with you to get to know you better. This can be tricky; because the odds are you will either tend to misuse this space to over share unnecessary facts about your life, or worse, gossip about someone else.

Do Not Be Afraid to Expose Your Real Self

This time, take Khalaf Dahshoury as your idol, because believe it or not, there is nothing more impressive that seeing the new employee comfortable in their own skin. This could be anything from expressing your preferences, stating your opinions on different topics unapologetically, or simply not trying to be someone else just for the sake of fitting in.

Do not Be Over Familiar

We Arabs love to establish close relationships with people right away. They have just met you, you have just met them, there is no point in bringing up how amazing your last weekend was, or how crazy was your last Sunday night. Fitting in and socializing with your coworkers is part of the process that will come naturally to you along the way that doesn’t need to be pushed.

Via Looper

Don’t Spend Lots Of Time On Your Phone

Even if your first day is not packed with tasks, try to refrain from over using social media throughout the day. Imagine the last time you felt about someone who were glued to their phone in a group interview or a social gathering? It can be misunderstood as a is a sign of avoidant personality, or low self-esteem.

Do Not Turn Down Lunch Invitation

Food literally has known to bring Arabs together even at work. In any arab work space you will see employees planning for lunch as if it is a life or death thing. It is lunch time, your coworkers invite you to join, do not turn down an invitation that could be the door for networking with them. Believe it or not, but in work life, small talk is one of the soft skills you need to master if you want to fit in or stand out wherever you are.

Do Not Complain About Former Manager

In general, it is best to refrain from spreading negative comments. In particular it is best to not complain about your past work, past co-workers, and ex manager, no matter how disastrous it was.

In conclusion, landing a new job feels like entering a strategic game where every move counts. Remember, this chessboard of first impressions sets the stage for a successful career. It all starts with engineering the first impression.

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