The Times Online has some absolutely spot on advice for those starting a new job. The first day can be stressful for anyone, so let's review some of the Times' advice for getting through the first day and starting off on the right foot.
First, leave your parents at home. According to the article, one new hire showed up on his first day with dear old mom in tow. I'm not quite clear on what the young man thought was so hot about this idea, but I'm going to have to side with the Times – leave her (and any other family members) at home.
Secondly, be a careful driver on the way in. In another anecdote, a new hire rushed to get to the office for his first day and ended up cutting off another driver and giving him presumably a two-fingered salute as he did so. As it turns out, the recipient of the salute was also the poor driver's new boss.
Thirdly, make sure you're in the right place at the right time. As silly as this might sound, it sounds quite common for people to turn up at the wrong location - i.e. wrong building, wrong city, or wrong floor – on their first day. Do try to get the address right on the first day.
Finally, don't spend your time comparing your new job to your last one. Have you ever known a new girl or boyfriend to enjoy constant comparisons to the last love of your life? Well, neither will you new employer, so don't do it.
While this advice isn't guaranteed to make you a vice-president overnight, it does increase the likelihood that you'll be invited back for a second day on the job.
This advice is also universal, I'd be hard pressed to think of any cultures where it might not hold true, and so you can take this to the bank!