You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count. Your first few days at a new job will set the stage for how you’re perceived by both your manager and your colleagues. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your first impression is a great one.
Put down your phone.
Being on your phone is the easiest way to make a negative first impression. Even if you’re using your phone to take notes or do something else job related, the impression will be that you’re ‘always on your phone’ – a label you absolutely don’t want. This advice is particularly critical for Millennials and Gen Z, where stereotypes prevail. The best way to disprove the stereotype is to simply put your phone away while you’re at work.
Show up on time.
Don’t be tardy on your first day. Being early indicates responsibility and professionalism. Being late indicates a lack of respect and self-discipline. Leave yourself plenty of extra time to get to the office in case there are transit or other unforeseen delays. You can always stop for a coffee or sit in your car and relax for a few minutes if you’re early.
Make the first move and introduce yourself to your new colleagues. Make it a goal to meet everyone on your team or the all of the people you’ll be working closely with in the first few days. Take advantage of your breaks to spend time in the breakroom and meet even more people. As an added bonus, connecting with colleagues will help you settle in and feel more at home at your new workplace.
You’ll be given an overwhelming amount of information in the first week at a new job. From policies to procedures to remembering the new office layout, your brain simply isn’t capable of retaining everything. To ensure that you don’t forget something important, take notes while you’re doing your onboarding and new hire training.
If possible, take notes by hand. You’ll retain information better that way. You can even double down on your learning by typing your notes into a document at the end of each day. Whatever you do, don’t use your phone for note-taking. No matter how many times you explain to your manager or colleagues that you’re taking notes and not using it for social media, they’ll still be wondering why you’ve got your phone in your hand all the time.
The fastest way to learn about your new workplace is to ask questions. The training you go through will only give you a basic overview of the way things are done – it’s your colleagues who can give you all the details.
Showing a willingness to ask for help will go a long way in making a great first impression. No one expects you to know everything when you start a new job, so trying to act like a know-it-all will only turn people off. It’s better to ask a question than to make an assumption and end up being wrong.
Be a team player.
Being new to a role is no excuse to not put in the work. Just because you’re new to the job doesn’t mean you can’t participate, so jump into your new role as quickly as possible. Your colleagues will appreciate your effort and willingness to be a team player.