It can be nerve-wracking when you first start at a new job. You're anxious to make a good impression and figure out what the day-to-day routine will be like.
While the first impression was already made when building your CV and during your interview, what usually gets highlighted and considered the most difficult is the first few days of the job itself when tasks are getting done and you start to meet your colleagues one by one.
So what does making a good first impression look like? In this blog, we’ll walk through a number of key steps you should take upon starting a new job that we have seen help new hires achieve this.
Be on time!
Be early or at least on time. When it comes to showing your employer that you're dependable and responsible, arriving on time is key. It shows them that you're organised and reliable and that's the impression you want to make. It also sets the tone for the rest of your day - if things start smoothly, they often continue that way.
Showing up on time demonstrates respect for your position and commitment to your job. This can make you more desirable to work with, and could lead to higher-level positions.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is your best friend the night before your first day at work. By being well-rested, you will not only feel better, but you’ll look better! Appearing tired or sluggish can damage the perception your co-workers have of you.
Tiredness at work can have a negative impact on your productivity and ability to focus. If you're looking to feel better, have more energy, and be able to concentrate at work, get enough sleep. A consistent night's sleep will help you feel alert and energetic during the day.
It's important to stay as organised as possible when you're starting a new job. This way, you'll be able to find what you need quickly and avoid any confusion. If you can, try to keep your work area clean and orderly so that others will also feel comfortable working in the environment.
There are tools, gadgets, and software to help you stay organised, focused, and productive. You can set goals, use a shared calendar to keep track of your progress, write down an agenda, create a to-do list, and incorporate a timer. You can limit distractions by keeping your phone away from your desk and avoiding unnecessary interactions. While it’s still important to socialise with your new team, those quick chit-chats outside of lunch hours can cause you to lose concentration and slow you down at work.
Be courteous and respectful
When you're starting out at a new job, it's important to be courteous and respectful of your colleagues. Demonstrating workplace courtesies has a huge effect on your colleagues and the entire workplace. It’s not always about being nice, it’s about maintaining order and harmony at work. By doing so, they'll likely feel comfortable working with you and vice versa. Try not to make any big waves or stir up any drama – just focus on doing your best work every day.
When you show up at your new job you’ve got to dress for the “occasion”. It doesn’t mean you need to wear the most extravagant dress or the most expensive suit.
From the outset, be sure to ask for the employee dress code. Unless you’re in retail or in the hospitality industry where you need to wear a uniform, or in a law firm, where you will probably wear a suit. If you are in doubt, a co-worker or a manager could be your best go-to guide.
When you’re working remotely, it’s important to take the same precautions that you would when you’re at your desk. Pay attention to what your co-workers and manager are wearing so you know what’s appropriate for the setting. The same goes for your video appearance. If you want to sport a pair of tracksuit bottoms, make sure they’re not visible when you’re on camera.
Smile and make eye contact
When you walk into your new job, make an effort to smile and make eye contact with your co-workers. This will help to create a positive first impression and set the tone for a productive work environment.
Smiling can go a long way. People tend to respond better to a welcoming, friendly person than those who are angry or cold. Making eye contact when communicating can help build trust with your co-workers.
You can do a lot of things to make a good first impression, and in our experience, one of the most positive actions to help with this is taking initiative at work.
You might perhaps need training on the job but show that you are willing to take the time to find out what you need to know and do it anyway with guidance. You take responsibility for your own learning and do not let distractions get in the way of this.
Try to spot what’s not working and take action to make it better. Look to take every opportunity to learn new things and improve yourself. Work actively instead of reactively at work. This is what initiative is all about.
Remembering your colleagues’ names when you begin to introduce yourself in your new role can be hugely beneficial when starting your working relationships.
It can make a big difference when looking to bond with them in your first few days. Also, be sure to introduce yourself and say what you do. It shows that you're interested in getting to know them - the kind of scenario that will facilitate the process of cementing your name in their minds for the long term.
Last but not least - be yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not - that will only backfire. Be confident, but not too cocky. Be polite and respectful, but don't let your guard down. And most importantly, don't forget to have a good attitude! Whether you are funny, friendly, or serious-looking, be who you are and be authentic.
If you can put these tips into practice, you'll make a great impression on your new manager and co-workers. No one else can fit that role perfectly, so don't try too hard. If you show yourself to be a good colleague and an enjoyable person to work with, chances are that your new colleagues will notice and appreciate it as well.