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How to Make a Great First Impression at Your New Job

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Now that you’ve landed that new job you wanted, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. What you do in your first few days and weeks on the job can have a long-term impact on your success. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your first few days on the job.

Be Prepared
Although you should’ve already done your research about the company during the interview process, take some time to review information about the company again. By now you’ll likely also have additional information available to you that the company has sent to you, or available on the company’s intranet etc. Make sure you’ve read through as much of the information as possible, and especially the company employee handbook and other similar materials. This will not only make you come across as more knowledgeable, but also help you avoid making any mistakes that were covered in the employee materials.

Keep an Open Mind
The first few days of a new job can be both exciting and stressful. Both you and your company are assessing each other, and they’re generally going to try to do what they can to make sure you settle into your new role as comfortably as possible. Although you may be coming in with a wealth of experience prior achievements and a certain way of doing things; keep an open mind about how the company operates and does business. Be ready to, and open to learn as much as you can.

Dress for Success
Just like in the interview process, dress up a little bit for at least the first few days. First impressions matter, and people will judge you based on your appearance. Even if the dress code is casual, wait until people get to know you a little first before coming to work wearing casual. The best way to decide what to wear is to ask ahead of time.

Take the initiative to get to know people. Say hi and introduce yourself in the elevator, break room and by the water cooler. Your new co-workers may be busy and not always have time to come to you. A great way to impress your co-workers is by learning their names. Although nobody’s expecting you to know everyone’s name at the end of the first day, try to learn them as quickly as you can.

Find out if there are any after-hours events you can participate in such as co-workers getting together for a drink after work, or other social activities. This will help you build rapport and build a personal network of co-workers that you can talk to. Another great way to get to know your co-workers is lunch. Find out if there’s a common area where people get together to have lunch. If you’re invited out to lunch, be sure not to turn down the invitation even if you brought lunch.

A few mistakes to avoid as you get to know your co-workers is to participate in the workplace gossip and rumor mill. Stay away from this as long as you can. Although you want your new co-workers to get to know you, leave your personal problems at the door. Discussing things such as financial problems or relationship issues will reflect poorly on you in the workplace.

Show Enthusiasm and Take Initiative
Show your new employer that you’re enthusiastic about the job. Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions but be sure to take notes so you don’t have to ask the same questions repeatedly. You’re not expected to know everything right away, and asking questions shows you want to get the job done right. As you start out, make sure to be on time and don’t be the first one to leave at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to take initiatives. If you complete a task ahead of time, find out if there’s anything else you can work on.

Get a Few Early Wins
When you went to the job interview, you probably sold the company on what you were going to do for them. Make it your goal to showcase that as soon as you can. Get a few quick accomplishments and wins under your belt to show them they made the right decision to hire you.

Get on the Calendar
An important step to be successful is to not only showcase to your new boss what you’re working on and accomplishing, but also get feedback on how he or she things you’re doing. Make sure you have regular meetings with your new boss, whether it’s once a week, once a month or whatever frequency makes sense in your situation. Determine with your new manager when and how often to meet and send out an invite to get it on the calendar.

There are many things to keep in mind to help make your first few days and weeks at your new job more successful. Most important, enjoy your new job, have some fun and show everyone you’re excited to be there. What other suggestions do you have for success in a new job? Let us know in the comments!


If you’re looking for job opportunities in Information Technology, Engineering, Accounting/Finance or Business Administration, we’d love to hear from you. Please browse our job board to view all currently available opportunities or submit your resume for general consideration. One of our recruiters in either our Grand Rapids, MI or Tampa, FL office will review.

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