You rocked the application, excelled during the interview process, and accepted the job offer. However, the hard work has just begun. First impressions are everything. You may have won over the hiring manager, but there are a lot more people at the business to impress!
Before plunging into your first week on the job, read through these 25 tips to make a great first impression on your first day of work.
1. Practice your introduction
Intros are when you make a great first impression. Direct eye contact, a firm handshake, confidence, and a big smile is the recipe for success.
2. Wear presentable attire
Studies show that people will judge you within seconds of meeting you. Your attire will impact this impression. Look presentable for your first few days of work, even if you are in a casual office environment. As you learn more about the office culture, adjust appropriately.
3. Stay positive
The key to a good first impression is your attitude. On your first day of work, wear a big smile and show your excitement for the opportunity. People will associate your positivity with your ability to perform well.
4. Be a good listener
The first few weeks on the job are the time to absorb as much information as you can. Questions will arise but choose which ones you voice wisely. You don’t want to come across as an attention hog. If you have a legitimate question, ask it with confidence. Focus on listening and remembering as much as you can.
5. Take notes on everything
Pro tip: take notes on everything you learn in the first week. Don’t rely on your memory. Attend all onboarding meetings and trainings to learn as much as you can about your new company. Review your notes at the end of the day to solidify everything you learned. This is a surefire way to speed up the transition process.
6. Remember your co-workers’ names
If you’re bad with names, now is the time to focus on memorizing them. Aim to have all your co-workers’ names memorized by the end of the first week. If you have any idea who you will be working with directly, try to learn their names before you start.
Remembering names will establish a personal connection. If you can’t remember someone’s name, simply apologize and ask again. They will understand if you ask early!
7. Be proactive
Most employers will give their new employees small projects to allow them to adjust without getting overwhelmed. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, be proactive and ask for more work. This will show that you are willing to take initiative. Employers love proactive employees.
8. Keep learning about your new employer
You should have already researched your company prior to the interview, but your learning shouldn’t stop there. Make it a point to learn as much about your company as you can.
Study the employee handbook, ask about volunteer opportunities, and read up on company literature. Become an expert on your company so you can sell it to people when the opportunities arise.
9. Show your commitment
Even if you’re an hourly worker, plan to stay a little longer than the typical shift requires. Arrive early, work hard during the day, and leave late. Don’t take long lunches. Be efficient with your time. If you sacrifice to show your commitment to the company, it will pay off.
10. Refrain from gossip and politics
Steer clear from workplace gossip and political drama as long as you possibly can. Nothing will ruin your reputation faster than gossip backfiring on you.
11. Be a team player
Show your loyalty to your new co-workers by sharing recognition with the team in the beginning of your career. Be honest and give credit to those who deserve it. Building trust with your co-workers is the key to success!
12. Keep it professional
There’s nothing wrong with conducting a small amount of personal business while at work. Everyone does it. But keep it to a minimum at the beginning. You don’t want your supervisor to catch you checking your personal email, making dinner reservations, or buying stuff online before you have a chance to prove yourself.
13. Become a social butterfly
Most companies organize after-hour activities like sports leagues or happy hours. Make the effort to get involved and bond with your co-workers!
Take the chance to show your personality in a way that you can’t during work hours. But be warned, be on your best behavior. You don’t want a stupid mistake on a casual night out to ruin your professional life.
14. Keep track of your accomplishments
No one will keep track of your accomplishments for you. That’s your job. Making a list of your accomplishments will help position you for future promotion or jobs at other companies. Start doing this right from the start of a new job to ensure you won’t forget!
15. Be appreciative
A good rule of thumb: kill them with kindness. If people take time out of their day to help you learn the ropes of the office, show them how much you appreciate it. Write a thank you note, bring them a cup of coffee, and be sure to smile while you do it. Simple gratitude will always make a good first impression - and it will follow you!
16. Find a mentor
Keep an eye out for someone in the company who could be a professional mentor to you. Having a mentor who can provide direction is a huge benefit. Done right, you can expand your network by meeting people within your mentor’s network.
17. Organize your work life
Develop a system to remember appointments, assignments, projects, and meetings that work best for you. Set reminders, create spreadsheets, or use a planner. Whatever it takes to get you to every commitment on time. Don’t be late in your first few days!
18. Be a goal setter
Take time to brainstorm a list of achievable goals you can work towards in your new position. Find what’s important to your employer and work on developing the skills you need to succeed.
As you progress in your career, your goals will change. It should be that way! Revise your list every couple months as necessary. Work with direction and achieve your goals.
19. Request regular check-ins with your boss
Meeting with your direct supervisor on a regular basis gives you the chance to share how you are doing, ask questions, and stay on track with assignments and deadlines. It also helps build rapport. Plus, they will be impressed that you ask for check-ins. It shows your desire to learn and grow.
20. Network, network, network!
Actively search for any and all opportunities to network with people in your company. Attend staff meetings, conferences, trade shows, and events. Get your name out there by introducing yourself to key players in your field.
Join an organization or take additional classes outside of work to stay ahead. Especially in a new job, work hard at growing your network. It opens doors that you may not have had access to otherwise.
21. Don’t ask for upgrades
If you’ve been set up with a company computer, phone, or any kind of software, be thankful. Now is not the time to ask for an upgrade. After you have time to prove yourself as a valuable employee, inquire about upgrades. But look around first.
If your co-workers have the same technology as you, don’t ask about it. If they have upgrades, approach the situation carefully and respectfully. You don’t want to come across as ungrateful.
22. Don’t trash talk your old employer
As tempting as it can be to tell the horror stories of your past, don’t do it. It may come back to bite you if word gets around to your old co-workers. Plus, your new co-workers may expect you could do the same thing to them if you leave the company. Keep positive relationships wherever you can, whenever you can.
23. Take advantage of your lunch breaks
Spend your lunch breaks getting to know your co-workers. Ask people to grab a bite with you. Don’t waste lunchtime eating at your desk or running errands, unless you have to. However, pay attention to the unspoken rules of lunchtime.
If people are hard at work on a project, don’t interrupt them. Eat with the people who are clearly taking their lunch breaks.
24. Go beyond your professional interests
Initiate conversations about your interests with co-workers as you adjust to your new position. Your ability to express your interests authentically will create strong bonds in the workplace. Don’t forget to listen carefully to your new co-workers personal interests.
25. Don’t take it personally
The first week on the job can be a nerve-wracking experience. When placed in a new and stressful situation, remember to keep things professional. If your boss snaps at you or someone makes a decision you don’t agree with, don’t take it personally. Just focus on doing the best job that you can do. The results will speak for themselves.