We’d never say you only get one chance to make a good first impression. But when you’re starting a new role, getting off to a good start certainly helps.
Whether you’re a rookie taking their first steps into a fresh industry or a manager about to take over a new team, impressing in the early days is well worth doing. Not only can it calm the nerves that a new role can bring, but it also lets your colleagues know that you mean business.
So, what can you do to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward? Below, we’ll look at some top tips to help you get things right during your first day, week and month at your new job.
Making a great first impression on your first day
- Arrive on time
After getting a good night’s sleep (another essential tip, by the way), make it a point to show up on time or even a few minutes early. Being late to work on your first day is never a good look.
Set your alarm earlier than you would do so you have plenty of time to prepare for the day ahead. If you’ve a long commute ahead of you, research your travel time and then add some extra time just in case you run into any unforeseen delays or traffic on the way.
Even if you arrive a little early, it’ll give you time to take a breath, get coffee and put yourself in the right headspace before you meet your colleagues.
- Introduce yourself
Chances are your manager will take you around the office so you can introduce yourself to who you’ll be working with. But if not, making the first move is well worth doing. It’s confident and disarming – your colleagues may be just as nervous as you are – breaking the ice in a way that everyone will appreciate.
Take the same approach to other people in the company, too. Whether you’re in the kitchen, at lunch, or passing by others on a corridor, be sure to greet any fresh faces in a friendly, polite manner.
- Take notes
There’s a lot of new information that’ll be coming your way on your first day. Procedures, policies, names, and best practices can be tough to remember, so make sure you have a pen and notepad with you. You can refer to what you’ve jotted down next time something slips your mind – with all your blushes spared.
- Ask questions
In the early days of any job, you’re bound to have your fair share of questions. And while it might seem like you’re frustrating your new colleagues by asking lots of questions, no one will be expecting you to have all the answers on the first day.
Asking questions shows you want to learn the ropes so you can perform your job properly. Plus, it’s always better than assuming and getting something wrong.
Making a great first impression in your first week
You’ve got through the first day with flying colours, but there are still four more days of the week to go. Build on the strong first impression you’ve made with the help of these helpful strategies below.
- Book in some one-on-one time with your boss
Building a positive relationship with your manager is an important step, and one that’s well worth cultivating at an early stage. When you can, ask to have some time with them so you can pick their brains a little.
Discuss what they expect from you, their preferred communication methods, and their style of management. Not only will you be able to find out key traits that can help you build a stronger relationship, but it also shows your manager you’re proactive about learning how to perform your job to the best of your abilities.
- Keep the job description in mind
A tip that’s worth keeping well into your first month too, having your job description to hand and reviewing it regularly keeps you focused on what your team expect of you. It may be tempting to go above and beyond to impress your new workmates, but you might find this has the opposite effect.
You’ll have plenty of time later on to make your mark. For now, stay on the right track and stick to what’s been outlined in your job description.
- Get plenty of rest
With the influx of information, colleagues, tasks and processes that come with a new job, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and even worn down, once Friday rolls around. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself to look after your physical and mental health if this is the case.
At the end of each day, put your phone down and go to bed at a reasonable hour. It might be tempting to let off some steam after work by socialising with friends, but try holding off doing this while you’re still learning the ropes in your first week. Instead, try getting the endorphins going with some regular exercise.
And if your hours have changed, use this first week to get used to any adjustments you might need to make when it comes to your work-life balance.
Making a great first impression in your first month
Across the rest of the month, you should now be thinking about the role your performance has to play in your team and the company.
- Understand your performance metrics
Understanding what you’re being measured on, whether it’s specific KPIs or merely sentiment around your performance, goes a long way towards how you go about your duties. It’s also a great way of strengthening your relationship with your manager.
Once you know what they care about, and what their boss cares about, you’ll have more of an idea about what you need to drive towards. Again, don’t be afraid to ask questions to get a clearer idea.
- Set goals for the next thirty days
Now that you’re more familiar with your colleagues, their ways of working, your expectations and how the coffee machine works, you can set the stage for some goals that you’d like to achieve when the next month comes along.
Whatever they may be, make sure they’re realistic and achievable, setting aside time along the way so that you can review them, identify whether you’re meeting your expectations, and allow your manager to feedback on your performance.
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