You did it, you found a job. While the job market is hot, finding that perfect fit is both exciting and scary. Before you set your alarm for that first day, take some time to think about what you can do to make a great first impression.
- Arrive on Time. Do not be late, but do not be too early either. Often, employers have procedures and tasks that must be completed on your first day of work and while you want to show your employer that you’re eager to get started, you also don’t want to create an awkward situation. Arrive about 10 minutes early and be patient.
- Pay Attention to Names and Learn What Each Person Does at the Company. Listen for people’s names and do your best to remember them. Are you “bad with names?” Many people are. So admit and move on, “So nice to meet you Jim! I know I’ll be meeting a lot of people in the next few days, and I am not always the best with names, so forgive me in advance if you have to remind me the next time I see you.” Ask them what their job is; the more you engage in conversation, the more likely you will remember their name.
- Do Your Homework on the Dress Code. You’re the “new kid on the block.” You want to look nice, but not stand out. If it’s a business casual environment, don’t show up in a suit. If you start on a “Casual Friday”, you don’t need to show up in your most casual of clothes, but you don’t need to wear a shirt and tie either. Be aware of the dress code at the company and pay attention during your interviews.
- Be Prepared. Did the HR contact tell you that you need to bring in identification that permits you to work? Were you asked to complete any paperwork? Make sure you have what you need.
- Don’t Over-Personalize Your Space. You are starting a new job, not moving into an apartment. On your first day, bring only what you need. Look at the workspaces around you and personalize your space slowly, and appropriately.
- The first few days, weeks and months at a new job is the time to listen. Do not be the person that walks in the door telling people how YOU would do things. In order to be a great contributor, you need to first understand your environment. You can only do that by listening.
- Ask Good Questions. Use phrases like “help me understand…” and “can you explain…” when you ask a question. You do not want to appear critical, you want to appear sincerely curious. Don’t repeatedly ask the same question over and over again; retain the answer.
- Find a Mentor. Find someone you can trust and go to if you have questions. But be careful, and keep the relationship professional and do not gossip about issues you see in the office.
- Ask For Feedback. Ask your manager if you are meeting expectations or if there is anything else you should be focusing on.
- Don’t Discuss Things That Aren’t Your Business. You may have replaced someone that was recently terminated. You may have been recruited from a competitor. You may be starting a job that an internal candidate applied for, but didn’t get. Be sensitive to these things, keep your focus on your role and doing the very best job you can. Don’t get caught up in office politics, gossip or speculations.
Coaches tell athletes to let their playing performance do the talking. As your career coach, we will tell you the same thing. An award-winning job placement expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in your job search in southeastern Wisconsin. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your job search to the next level. For more information about how you can find a new career, contact us today and allow us to help you focus on success!