You only get one shot at a first impression, so make the most out of it. A great first impression is the first step in building your reputation with your new employer. It can also go a long way toward developing a trusting working relationship with your peers.
Here are a few things to keep top-of-mind when you want to make sure you start off on the right foot.
Be excited, be eager, and ask questions. You want to show that you are a team player and that you’re ready to do great work. There can be an air of uncertainty when you start a new position, so it’s important to get an understanding of what your boss expects from you. Once you know what their expectations are, it will be easier to meet them. Even before your first day, you can leave a great impression by reaching out proactively to find out about things like dress code, culture, and where to park.
Early is on time, and on time is late. Ok, so that might not necessarily be true; however, showing up late as a new employee can make you look disorganized or undisciplined. Look up your travel route the day before and how long it will take. Then, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there - you never know when you’ll get delayed on your morning commute! So set your alarm early, and stay off the snooze button. If you end up arriving with time to spare, you can always catch up on your social media (or look at jobs on Bluecrew!) in the parking lot. But once you’re on the job…
Sorry for yelling, but some things warrant raising your voice. Especially for younger workers, there can be a perception that when you’re on your phone, you aren’t paying attention or simply don’t care. If you need to take notes, go old-school and use pen and paper. Remember: when you’re making a first impression, it’s important to show your new team members and manager that you are focused and there to do great work!
Nonverbal communication is just as important as the words coming out of your mouth. Make sure to greet new people and introduce yourself, sit up straight, lean forward when you’re talking with someone, give your manager your full attention, and make eye contact - especially when you’re shaking someone’s hand. You might be the coolest person in the room, but your manager doesn’t care. They just want to know they can depend on you to get the job done.
When you have the opportunity to finish a project ahead of schedule or help a peer complete their work, take it. Make sure to highlight a win, especially if it positively impacts the company. Everybody values a team player, and word of mouth travels quickly. If you earn respect from your peer group, then your manager will be quick to recognize your value as well.
Remember, first impressions last. You get to make a first impression when you interview, when you show up for your first day, and every time you meet someone new at the company. So show up early, be respectful, and then get to work!
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