Starting a New Job: 5 Tips for Making a Great First Impression
If you have recently landed a new job, the hardest part is behind you in many ways. You beat out what was probably a long line of qualified applicants, nailed the interview, and impressed your new team. As you actually transition to the job, you definitely want to keep your momentum going and make a great impression in the new office. Here are five tips—from the more obvious pointers to the things you may not have thought about—for getting off on the right foot!
- Look professional. This reminder probably goes without saying, but you should wear office-appropriate attire. It is almost never a bad idea to wear a suit on the first day, even if you know that the office follows a slightly less formal dress code. You will feel better about yourself dressed professionally, and your new colleagues will be more inclined to take you seriously. Also, office ID photos are often taken on the first day, so what you wear that day may appear on your badge or online directory for years to come.
- Be on time – early even. Despite what you may have heard about the office culture around late arrivals, make an effort to be a few minutes early—at least for the first week of your new job. You can take the extra time to familiarize yourself with the commute and the office layout, brew an extra cup of coffee, or tackle any paperwork for new hires.
- Read up. You most likely researched your new company or organization as part of the job application process. It’s a good idea to supplement that reading with any materials provided to you by your new human resources contact. New hires often receive organizational manuals, office policies, and other administrative materials that contain important information. Read whatever materials are provided to you, and remember to supply any requested paperwork such as tax forms and identification documents.
- Be an active listener. Starting a new job usually means being bombarded with information from multiple directions. Work on honing your active listening skills to make the most out of the disorienting first days on the job. Bring a notepad and pen with you wherever you go, and use them. It is a good idea to take notes not only on what people say, but also on who says what. The act of writing down these details will help you learn new names and important information. You should also make it a habit to ask questions if something seems unclear or incomplete.
- Practice pitching yourself. Even though the interview process is over, you will spend several weeks introducing yourself to countless new faces. You are likely to field the same questions repeatedly, such as which job you just left and what you did there. Rather than speaking off the cuff, think about how you can introduce yourself to your new colleagues in a way that leaves a memorable and professional impression.
It can be stressful to transition into a new job, particularly if you are taking on responsibilities that pose new professional challenges for you. While you will focus much of your energy on doing your job well, make sure that you also devote some thought to the impression you are making on your new colleagues. Take your cues from those around you, but above all present yourself as professional and respectful—the rest will fall into place!
Mindy Mihajlov, Lead Technical Recruiter
Looking for a new IT gig? Be sure to check out CREDO’s Open Positions page regularly for the latest hot jobs!
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