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How to make a good first impression in your new job

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Lizzie Tasker Tips, Work Life, Work...

You’ve gone and secured the position of your dream – congratulations! First of all, give yourself a great big pat on the back; especially if you’ve endured a gruelling recruitment process!

Just by knowing that you’ve been selected as the chosen candidate should be a huge confidence boost; your new employer will likely not have made this decision lightly and will want you to succeed in your new role!

Preparation is key

It’s natural that you’ll be feeling nervous as you walk through the door on the first day, so try to alleviate some of these worries by ensuring you’ve done the basic preparation in advance.  Plan your journey, maybe even do a test run during rush hour, and allow some contingency for delays.  Aim to arrive around 5-10 minutes before your start time; not too early and certainly not late. Think about your outfit the night before, ensuring it’s clean and ironed, so you’ve less to think about in the morning.  Check any paperwork you’ve been sent in advance, make sure you read it carefully in case there’s anything you need to bring on your first day.

First impressions count

You’re likely going to be meeting a lot of new people and have a lot of new names and faces to try to remember! Do your best to remember as many as possible, but don’t worry if you have to be reminded a couple of times; people will understand. If in doubt, smile – be friendly to everyone!

If you’re not introduced to someone, take the initiative and go and introduce yourself. Just a simple ‘Hi, I’m Joe and I’ve just started in Accounts’ is sufficient, you don’t want to get a reputation for being the office chatterbox! Your new colleagues will appreciate your efforts.

Remain professional

Just because the interviews are over, don’t let your professionalism go out of the window. Always err on the side of caution when sharing your opinions on controversial topics, do not get involved or comment on any office politics or gossip, avoid oversharing your personal life and do not speak negatively about your past employer.

Use your time wisely

You’re unlikely to be expected to hit the ground running and the first few days might be more about induction and training than getting stuck in to any actual work.  Use this time to observe what’s going on around you, make plenty of notes, and find out the basics (where’s the post tray, stationary cupboard etc.) so you’re organised.  When you are given a task to complete, ensure you understand fully what you’ve been asked to do – and ask questions if you’re not sure – don’t rush through it, it’s better to take your time and do it properly.

Be open minded!

A new job is an opportunity for a fresh start. Leave any expectations from previous jobs or work environments behind and keep an open mind. Watch, listen and take as much as you can in over your first few weeks. Whilst bringing any past experience and knowledge with you can be a huge benefit, be mindful to understand your new employer’s ways and reasons for doing things (even if you’ve done it differently before).  It’s also important to remember that it can take several weeks or months before you really feel at home in your new job, so don’t make a judgment too early on and give it time.