“Can we keep you?”
Now let me start at the beginning. Your first day is always going to be the most anxious. No matter what you do to calm down, there’s still that massive amount of stress surrounding anything new, but that stress is just your body activating that hidden courage you never knew you had over the worry that you won’t be accepted in your new situation. How do you overcome that?
Summarize your day’s events in an email to your manager.
I don’t believe in doting communication, so I omit the fluffy stuff like “oh, thank you so much for the honor and opportunity to be in your service!” If I felt that my positive thoughts toward the opportunity were vague, I might start off with a quick thank you, then lead into the important stuff.
- Start off with some positivity about the person or people that helped you out that day.
- Lead into the work that you did.
- Conclude with your plans for the rest of the week.
If you’re not great at writing, then just figure out how you can make it your own. Think of this first evening’s email like a receipt of the work that they paid you to do that first day. You could even summarize your hours in a schedule:
- 8AM-10AM: Meet and greet
- 10AM-Noon: Training with [x], [y], and [z]
- Noon-1PM: Lunch
- 1PM-5PM: Training with [x] in detail.
Just remember to show competency in what you’re doing. Even if this is a completely new job field for you, you can still show core competencies. This is also the time to address any questions or concerns you have for the manager.
I learned the importance of this email on my last contract when I briefly explained what I did and it snowballed from there into the nightly emails I’ve mentioned before. So with this latest contract, I figured I’d keep up that momentum, especially since I was the last one out the door and since emails are an innocent timestamp to show that you were there at the moment, even if you might have taken a break just before sending the email.
I sent out my nightly summary including the “I will return at [X]AM,” left, and arrived the next morning. The first words my manager told me were:
“Can we keep you?”
So I’d say that email was a decisive victory.