How to Immediately Make a Great Impression at Your New Job
Congratulations! You’ve earned a new title at a new company, and you’re about to embark on an exciting new journey. You’re probably feeling very excited and a bit nervous. After quitting, wrapping up old responsibilities, and perhaps taking some time off, it can be daunting to start over.
Someone once said “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” You ultimately want your coworkers, executives, and boss to trust you, endow you with increasing responsibilities, and ensure that you’re happy and on a positive track within the company. This will only occur if they like you – and it all starts with making a positive impression from Day 1. Here’s how:
Introduce Yourself to Everyone You Meet
You want to be remembered and noticed at the company for being personable, so even if you’re uncomfortable, introduce yourself in appropriate situations with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a professional “Hi, I’m [name]. It’s my first day.”
Ask for Learning Materials
In the first several months at a job, your primary focus is learning as much as you possibly can about the role, the company, your team’s general responsibilities, and the details of your company mission and strategy. Your boss may often be too busy to train you immediately, so instead of idly sitting at your desk, ask to review the sales materials, any contracts you might work with, or recent work accomplished by your team. Pour over the company website and news articles, and follow newsletters that are relevant to your industry or company. Keep a list of questions and set up a meeting with your boss to go through them. Ask others on your team challenging questions, and make notes on the materials you’re provided with. Everyone will be impressed at your initiative.
Stay Off Your Phone
This is most important. Even if members of your team are on their phone fairly often, do your best to keep your phone turned off or put away during the first week or two. It’s easy to get lost on your phone for an hour if you don’t have much to do while your team is working. Avoid this trap, and use your time to educate yourself or meet new coworkers.
Do Any Initial Work Perfectly, Even If Not Quickly
If you are given assignments right away, make sure you do them perfectly. Ask a lot of questions, and try to meet the deadline. But it’s better to do the work well than to rush it – your initial output will create a lasting impression of your capability.
Be On Time or Early
Even if your team arrives closer to 10am, make an effort to arrive earlier. It will show that you’re interested in being there and that you are ready and willing to take on immediate responsibility,
Be Alert at Meetings and Take Notes
Meetings can be boring, especially when you don’t know what anyone is talking about. When you’re new and confused, it can be easy to let your mind wander or look bored. Try to stay focused, take notes to clarify with your boss later, and write down topics that you’ll need to research for your own knowledge. Your team will be impressed at how quickly you’ll catch on.
Even at the top companies in the world, employees love to complain and find negative aspects of their company. Don’t get dragged into this. Stay positive, keep any negative thoughts to yourself, and don’t gossip about anyone at the company. You don’t want to burn bridges on Day 1, and you don’t yet know co-worker or team dynamics at the company. Navigate as if you will be working closely with everyone.
Ask for Work & Leave Your Ego at the Door
It’s important that you appear interested in doing what you were hired to do and helping the team. You were most likely hired because the person formerly in your role quit or the team is seriously overwhelmed with work. Be useful and ask for work – do anything they give you regardless of whether it’s “below your pay grade,” and do it perfectly.