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How To Stand Out When Starting A New Job

how to stand out when starting a new job

Starting a new job is intimidating. You are the new blood. You are trying to figure out the lay of the land. You want to make a great impression but you do not want to come off as trying too hard. You want to get the hang of your work without making mistakes. You want to hit the ground running, even if you do not fully understand yet what you are running on.

It’s a balance. It’s a struggle. It’s invigorating. It’s scary. Starting a new job is a big life change that evokes many different feelings all at once. It can be tempting to lay low while trying to figure everything out and simply go with the flow. But that can be dangerous. You want to stand out. You want your name to be known. That’s what is going to help you get ahead.

Here are some tips on how to stand out when starting a new job.

How To Stand Out When Starting A New Job

1. Introduce yourself to people.

On your first day, introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Do not be afraid to go up to someone saying “Hi, I’m XXXXXX, the new XXXX person.” Of course, do not interrupt someone in the middle of a conversation, meeting, etc.

If you do not feel comfortable going up to people yourself, ask your boss his or her recommendation as to who you should meet and be introduced to. See if they will help make the introduction.

If there is a new colleague you already feel close to, or someone you will be working with very closely, you can ask them as well. You want as many people as you can get knowing your name, and frankly, that you exist, after that first day.

Related: How To Build Unlikely Friendships With Your Coworkers

2. Do not be afraid to ask questions. 

How else are you supposed to learn? It is impossible to know everything there is to know about a company or a new job on your first day. Most people understand this and acknowledge this.

So it’s your job to ask questions! Show your new boss that you want to learn. Show him or her that you want to not only learn more about your role, but also about the company and the company culture. How does the office function? Who do you go to for what? Who is willing to help? Who do you want to make sure to always keep happy?

Additionally, a great question to ask your boss and any senior executives you may be interacting with is “What is your dream for this role?” You want to know what folks are expecting from you and you need to assess whether that’s realistic or not.

Related: 5 Tips to Make the Best First Impression at Your New Job

3. Ask people to lunch. 

If there are senior executives in your field in the office, after introducing yourself, try to set up a lunch with them. This should happen over the course of your first couple of weeks in office, please do not send out a mass email your first hour of work asking everyone and anyone to lunch.

While you are introducing yourself to people, if the conversation is flowing well, a good idea is to close it out by saying “would love to grab lunch with you in the coming weeks if you are free.” If the conversation did not go that far, use lunch as a follow-up email in the coming days.

A simple “It was so great meeting you yesterday! I look forward to working together. Please let me know if you are available for lunch in the upcoming weeks” could go a long way. The worst that can happen is that they do not respond or say no. At least you made the effort, which most will recognize and appreciate.

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4. No task is too small. 

Do not come into a new office thinking that you are too good for a task. If an admin needs help with something you believe is minimal, you do it, if you have the time. You are still proving yourself to everyone in the office and you want to make the best impression you can. By helping folks out, both above you and below you, you are proving yourself to be a hard and reliable worker.

5. Show up on time, do not leave before your boss.

If the office culture is that folks can work from home on Fridays or leave early, that’s great, but do not take advantage of it without your boss telling you that you can. Do not show up to the office late and do not try to leave early.

Wait for cues from your boss and follow suite. If she or he tells you that you can leave a bit early or work from home on a certain day, go for it. But do not just assume that you can, especially if it is your first couple of weeks in the office. You want to show everyone that you are punctual and that you get your work done.

Additionally, if your boss is out one day, do not just not show up or take an easy day (unless instructed so by your boss). You do not want others in the office to think you slack off unless your boss is there — that is not a good reputation to have and you will not be trusted.

Starting a new job is all about proving yourself and establishing new relationships. It is important to spend this time going above and beyond as much as you can. You want the company to feel confident that they hired the right person and you want people to start coming to you for your expertise.

But none of this will happen if no one knows your name or if your colleagues think you are a bit of a slacker. Do not just fall into the trap of getting lost in the crowd. The above are some easy ways for you to stand out.

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.