You’ve finally done it – you landed the job that you were after. All the hard work and preparation in getting the resume and interview right have paid off. You are excited to start work and impress your new employer and get off on the right foot with your new coworkers. The first week of work can be exciting, but also quite stressful.
You have been told to just relax and be yourself, but wonder if there are certain things you should be focused on during this crucial first week to make a great first impression with your new boss and coworkers.
Arrive early, stay late, and dress for success
It’s possible that your boss starts earlier than everyone else, but you should make sure that your coworkers see you there when they arrive at work. It’s also a good idea to stay until others have gone home. Even though your workday may end at 5:30 p.m., it would not look good for you to be seen heading out the door at that time while your colleagues are still at their desks. While schedules may be flexible, you want to play it safe in your first week. When it comes to dress, it is always better to overdress in the beginning. It shows self-respect and a positive attitude toward your new workplace. As you settle into your job, you will gain a sense of how people dress you so can adapt accordingly to what is most comfortable for you.
Take initiative and introduce yourself
Many workplaces will take you on a tour to introduce you to your colleagues on the first day or shortly after you start your job. If that doesn’t happen, it is important for you to go around and introduce yourself. Even if some of the employees have come around to introduce themselves to you, don’t wait for everyone to do so. This indicates that you are someone who takes initiative and doesn’t wait for others to come to them.
Prepare good questions to ask
You want to appear eager to learn and start to contribute as soon as possible. One way to show interest is to prepare thoughtful questions to ask your boss and colleagues. Writing the answers down in a notebook or pad is a good way to show that you are serious about learning, and not just feigning an interest to make a good impression.
Prepare to answer questions about yourself and your new job
Think about how you will answer questions concerning your previous work so that you can talk about your work history in a succinct and positive light. Even if your past job was not ideal, don’t complain or make negative comments. Let your boss and colleagues know you are excited about your new job and want to contribute as soon as possible.
Smile, relax, and offer to help whenever possible
A simple smile goes a long way toward making a good first impression. It is good advice to relax and be yourself. Offer to help whenever the opportunity arises. Be careful to offer help to your colleagues as well as your new boss, as you want to avoid being seen as someone whose only interest is rising up in the organization as soon as possible. Don’t try so hard, however, that you come across as desperate to curry favor with your new boss.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.
Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com