Making a Good Impression: Your First Week at Work
It is important that you make a good impression during your first week in a new job. The impression that you create can completely shape your time in your new position, so starting off positively is very important. Follow these basic bits of advice to ensure that you create a good impression in your first week.
Arrive Early (but not too early!)
Try to arrive at your new job 5 – 10 minutes early on your first day. It is likely that you new employer will have arranged various induction events for you on the first day, and they will not be happy if you keep them waiting. Making a new employer wait for you to arrive suggests that you do not value their time, and will raise concerns about your on-going punctuality. On the other hand, arriving much too early can make your new boss feel pressured.
It is a good idea to set off with plenty of time to spare on your first morning, just in case you get held up by traffic or public transport woes. If you work in a 9-5 role, it is likely that your commute will take much longer than it did on the day of your interview, because you will be travelling at peak time. You can always go for a coffee or take a walk around the local area if you arrive earlier than you expect.
When you are talking to your new colleagues, you should try to maintain positive dialogue at all time during your first few weeks even if people try to draw you into negative conversations.
Never engage in gossip about the people who you work with. Complaining about your old job or your former colleagues is a no-no, because it will lead your new colleagues to wonder what you might be saying about them when they are not around. Even small "moans" (such as complaining about your commute) can make you seem as though you are a negative person. If people view you as a positive person, they are more likely to come to you with exciting opportunities. On the other hand, a negative attitude can mean that you miss out, because your colleagues will assume that you won't make the most of the opportunities that are given to you.
Meeting your new co-workers can be a daunting experience, but your relationship with your co-workers can shape how you view your job. Although you may be tempted to escape from the office at lunchtime to avoid the information overload that can occur in the first few days, you should use this time to socialise with your colleagues if possible. Alternatively, find out whether your workplace has any other types of social forum, such a reading group, sports teams, or weekly after work drinks.
Being sociable will help to show your new colleague that you are a team player. Building this sort of capital in the workplace also helps to expand your network and increase your opportunities.
Admit Your Mistakes
You are likely to make a few mistakes during your first few days in a new job, and all sensible employers will understand that new members of staff are not infallible. If (when) you do make mistakes, do not be afraid to own up to them. Trying to shift the blame to others can create negative feeling amongst your co-workers and it will make you look dishonest. If you get caught out in a lie about your mistake then this will reflect really badly on you. When you realise that you have made a mistake, make a plan to fix it and turn it into a positive learning experience. Do not be afraid to ask for support and advice that will enable you to fix the issue in a way that is satisfactory for your company.
Stay in the Know
During your first week you will be given a lot of information. Make sure that you make plenty of notes so that you are able to keep on top of the information that you are given. If you are unable to write down everything that you need to know, then you should at least make sure that you know how to find the information again. Most companies will have an internal internet system that is filled with policy documents and guidance notes that can help you to understand the inner workings of the firm. If you can find time, you should read as many of these documents as possible so that you can improve your understanding of the company. Many of these documents will include information that is not available to people who are outside of the company. Reading through it all can help to fill you in on everything that you need to know.