How to make a good impression in a new job
You’ve made it through the interview and accepted the offer, and now all that lies ahead of you is your first day, and in the weeks that follow: proving that the company made the right choice in hiring you. Starting a new job can be a bit daunting. There are new people, new systems to learn and sometimes you just have to jump right in because there is such a big workload. There’s hardly any time to think about making a good impression, but still you know that it matters, so what should you focus on doing?
- Smile. When you’re meeting new colleagues, or even when you’re feeling nervous, smile. People are far more likely to want help someone who is warm and friendly so make an effort to be pleasant in your communications. It also tells others that you’re open to collaborating and can work well as a team member. This is very important in a business environment and will certainly help you to create a good impression.
- Be punctual. Arrive at work on time, even if it means you have to leave home a little earlier. Remember that you may not be familiar with the route at rush hour, it could take longer than expected so allow time for this. Getting in early creates an even better impression, showing that you think ahead and like to be prepared in case things don’t go according to plan.
- Make yourself known. Don’t leave it up to everyone else to figure out who the new person is. Make the effort to introduce yourself. Keep it friendly and professional. There’s no need to share your entire personal history but telling people a few things about yourself will help them form a picture in their minds about who you are. Perhaps share some of your interests – such as baking, hiking, or reading. You might just find you have common ground with some colleagues and this is helpful in a work environment.
- Check in with your boss. Find out what their expectations of you are, what areas they want you to focus on, and ask questions about anything else you think is important to know. You can then prioritise your tasks to meet their expectations. This should also give you some insight on how your boss likes to work. Are they hands on and likely to micromanage you every step of the way, or do they expect you to simply get on with it?
- Keep the focus on productivity. While it’s tempting to get to know colleagues and this is important, don’t get caught up in lengthy social discussions. You don’t want your boss to think that you’re more interested in teatime than doing your work, now do you? Make sure that you get through your work to the best of your ability, and if you finish ahead of time don’t sit around. There’s always lots to learn in a new job, ask colleagues if you can assist with anything or if they have tasks for you. This proactive approach demonstrates that you want to work and that you’ll be a valuable employee.
- Don’t ask before you’ve earned your keep. Don’t go asking for time off in the first few weeks, and it can give the impression you’re not that serious about work. Similarly, don’t ask to leave early to fetch your kids. When you signed up for the job, you knew the working hours. Trying to push the boundaries early on is a sure way to create a poor impression.
Being positive, being friendly and working hard, well it may seem logical, but when the pressures on, people can sometimes forget about the small things that can, in fact, be very important. Finally, be enthusiastic! It’s new opportunity, make the most of it. Your success is up to you!