Career

New Job? Start Strong and Make An Impression

New Job? Start Strong and Make An Impression

You just got that job you’ve been dreaming of. Congratulations!

A new job is exciting. You worked hard to get here; wrote the perfect cover letter, spiced up your resume and battled through the rigorous interview process. You had your celebratory glass of champagne, accepted the position and signed all the forms.

Remember, they hired you because you told them what you can bring to the table and the long list of amazing things you’re capable of accomplishing with them. Now it’s time to put those words into actions and earn your keep.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what position you’ve landed; making a good first impression is what will start you off on the right foot.

Be On Time

This sounds obvious to the punctual but not common sense to some. You need to take into account every possible thing that could happen between the time you wake up and get to work. That can be traffic, personal issues, alarm clock mishaps, a run in your stockings, empty gas tank – whatever it could be, do your best to prevent it and/or include buffer time to your commute.

The first couple of weeks at every new job I had, I would end up sitting in my car for an hour killing time but no one knew that. The only thing they knew was that I was always on time.

Get To Know People

When you first start a job, your boss will introduce you to who they think are important. Get to know them first as they will most likely play a big role in your success. Remember to be slow to judge as first impressions could be deceiving.

Avoid gossip, cliques and work politics as this will inhibit you from getting to know more people. Once you have a feel of your immediate circle, it’s also important to get to know the people outside of it; the assistants, the IT technician and other department members. Never miss an opportunity to introduce yourself whether it be in the restroom or the elevator. You never know who’s help you may need down the road.

Listen

Listen, listen, listen. This may be hard because as new employees, we feel the need to prove ourselves but it’s one of the best things to do when you’re new. Not only do you risk the reputation as a know-it-all right off the bat, you might give off the image that you’re not willing to learn.

Unless you’re asked to talk, answer a question or introduce yourself, focus on listening, learning and absorbing.

Take Notes

Grab a notepad and take notes. Being new, you have so much to take in. All the names and titles, new systems, new passwords, it’s a slew of endless information.

It’s impossible for any of us to memorize everything unless you have a photographic memory – unfortunately most of us don’t. This tip also leads into the next advice about Asking Questions; repeatedly asking the same question to an answer you should have jotted down in the first place could raise the question regarding your attention to detail.

Ask Questions

This is always a hard piece of advice to take into action. How many questions are too many before it’s considered too much and how little before you seem disengaged in your new position?

Expectedly, you’re going to have several questions regarding your new job, team, company and it’s ok to have them. No one expects you to know everything but if you think you’re asking too many, think about each question before you voice it.

Is your question something you can research on your own later? If yes, write it down so you can check on it on your own time. If no, don’t be afraid to ask. As a boss, I always tell any new team member that I would rather them ask me questions than make mistakes that were preventable if they had only asked.

Find A Mentor

As both a mentor and mentee, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have someone you can go to and learn from. You will not be able to find a mentor your first day, probably even within your first month since this a process.

Keep your eyes open for top producers in your team or organization and see if a mentoring relationship can be developed with him/her. Having a mentor brings numerous benefits; someone that you can run to for advice, that will teach you best practices and more often than not, this person will take you under their wings and put you in the right direction for career advancement.

Set Goals

Aside from the goals your job may give you, make some for yourself. Setting goals for yourself can be anything from learning a new system by your 90 day review, memorizing your colleague’s names by the end of the first week, reaching out and introducing yourself to top clients within the first 30 days – whatever they may be, if it’s significant to you, write it down and work hard to achieve them.

Setting your own goals will give you a sense of accomplishment amidst the overwhelming experience that is your new job.

Stay Late

This may not apply to a job that requires you to clock in and out but for all office workers, stay late, at least for the first few weeks. Not only does it make your colleagues automatically think you’re serious about the job, it also gives you peace and quiet.

When you’re new, you have so much to learn during the day. Once everyone has left the office for the evening, you can finally review something you wanted to look over, practice a new program or just get something done that you don’t have time for during the day.

Show Team Spirit

Not only did they hire you because of how great you are, you probably accepted the job because you respect the work they do.

You’re a part of a team now and if you watch any sports you would know that a well-oiled team wins championships, or in this case, gets the job done. Be a team member and be enthusiastic of any company initiatives, overly celebrate goals that are met together and always speak with a “we” – after all, there’s no “I” in “team”.

About the author

Deena K Imamura

This Tokyo native’s career path has lead her through Washington, Michigan, Georgia, Oregon, and California in high-end retail, law-enforcement, and hospitality. Currently working on her Masters, she quickly held her first management position at the age of 26. Her latest position is the Director of Sales and Marketing in Los Angeles. When she’s not obliterating monthly goals, you can find her wine tasting, cooking, and cheering for the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Dodgers. Don’t be surprised, however, if you can’t find her. Wanderlust often leads Deena away from home to new places, and back to old favorites.

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