Kicking off your career with a brand new job is many things: it’s intimidating, exciting, unfamiliar, and full of potential. Above it all, you want to make the best first impression at your new job.
A new job is a fresh start that offers opportunities, networking prospects, skill-building potential, and more. In short… a new job rocks! Major congrats on your new position and new stage of life. Be proud of yourself!
How to make the best first impression:
1. Arrive early.
Being punctual, especially when you’re starting a new job, is a great way to start off on the right foot. Get to work early to familiarize yourself with the parking situation. Do you need a company-issued parking pass? Are there specific lots where you are permitted to park your vehicle? These are the important questions you can iron out by arriving early.
Similarly, getting to work early is a great way for you to familiarize yourself with the morning office culture.
Maybe your new team drinks coffees together before the day officially begins. Perhaps your new colleagues follow a morning routine that you need to partake in, such as turning on office lights, unlocking the front door, turning the printer and computers on, etc. Basically, arriving early will help you begin each day the right way.
2. Take notes.
Your first week at a new job is a critical span of time for you to absorb as much information as possible.
During these first few days it is extremely important for you to take notes. Come to work prepared with a notepad in hand. Record absolutely everything you observe your colleagues doing.
Do your colleagues answer the phones with a script? Do they speak to clients in a certain tone? How often to employees take breaks? How do your coworkers work — collaboratively or autonomously? Every company has a unique setting, so do your best to be accustomed with your new workplace vibes.
This is also a great way to jot down questions that you might have to ask others at a later date.
3. Get acquainted with your team.
A huge obstacle of starting a new job is learning to work alongside new coworkers. A workplace is only as successful as its team, therefore it’s super important to get to know your colleagues.
During your first week, eat lunch with your coworkers to get to know them on a personal and professional level. Share bits about yourself to give your new coworkers a taste of your personality. Staring out this way will help you kickoff your new job in social and professional ways.
Get a read on the environment. Who talks to each other? Who avoids others? Who talks about themselves? Who is out the door as soon as 5 o’clock comes around? Learn the dynamic.
4. Ask questions.
When you begin a new job, you get a free pass to ask any questions you have, judgment free. It doesn’t matter how silly or ridiculous the question may sound because your supervisor and colleagues will be happy to answer you.
When you’re joining a new team, no question is deemed “stupid.” As a new employee, you’re entitled to a grace period, so take advantage of it!
Ask any question you have in mind, especially in the beginning. It’s super important to get your concerns or insecurities out of the way so you can feel more comfortable and learn faster. Do you have questions? Ask away!
5. Be flexible.
For most employees, your first week isn’t indicative of a normal workweek. In the beginning you may find yourself involved with lots of training, observing, and shadowing.
Be flexible during this transition. In any job, there’s a learning curve at the start. Your first few days are not necessarily a true representation of a normal routine.
You may have odd hours to accommodate training, you might need to attend an influx of meetings, you may have to travel to meet other members of your company in other branches, or the like. Keep an open mind and an open schedule.
That said, respect your own boundaries. You’re the new kid on the block and that means you need to continue to prove yourself. A great place to work will welcome you, however, some people may try to pass off their responsibilities to you. Shut that down before it starts.
Kicking off a new career is an exciting change in life. When it’s time to start a new job, keep these tips in mind. Your first week working with a new team, in a new role, for a new company, can definitely feel intimidating and exciting at the same time.
Remember to ease into this new chapter of your life and absorb as much information as you can.