The first day of a new job brings a lot of excitement and a lot of anxiety—the fact that you will be meeting new people, and you will be wanting to make a great first impression on your manager and colleagues can be quite worrying for anyone.
To make it easy for you to relax and begin your first day at your new workplace, we share with you here 9 tips to make a positive first impression.
1. Be punctual and show up on time.
On your first day, you should time your arrival so that you arrive a few minutes early at work. Being punctual is the key to making a strong impression. A punctual arrival shows that you are organized and that you value your work, while being considerate of your colleagues’ time as well. Moreover, being early indicates a degree of responsibility and professionalism, and that is the impression you want to make.
You can plan your first day's commute in advance by finding out how long it would take to reach your new workplace. Leave yourself plenty of extra time just in case there are some unforeseen delays and just to be sure, you can leave home 10 minutes early.
At work , pay close attention to the company culture and unspoken rules about punctuality and try to follow the lead of your colleagues initially. You may also need to plan to spend some extra time at your workplace at first.
2. Dress professionally
First impressions are often based upon appearance and body language. You can check with the HR people, about any uniform or any other specific instructions about your dress, but it’s always advisable to be formally dressed in smart business clothes on the first day, especially in a professional setting. It shows a positive attitude toward your new workplace. You want to look professional and well groomed. As the dress code varies from one workplace to another, the best way to decide what you should wear is to observe those around you. Whether you like it or not, people will judge you on how you look and what clothes you wear to work, and so you should always present a well-groomed and neat appearance. Another important aspect is to have good personal hygiene. Brush your teeth and take a shower. Comb your hair and wear some deodorant. You would want to convey an image of being reliable, organized, trustworthy, and efficient and not disorganized and unruly.
3. Smile and have a positive body language
Confidence and a positive attitude are the key to make a lasting first impression. Be sure to show up for work with a smile on your face. It’ll make you appear friendlier and more approachable to your colleagues. Walk smartly, have an erect posture and show a positive body language. By being confident, you’ll find it easier to meet new people and you’ll feel a lot more at ease with yourself. So, don’t be nervous! And be sure to give those you meet a firm handshake. And now for some “don’ts” too… Don’t cross your arms or roll your eyes when someone is speaking. Instead, try to nod and smile as the other person is talking. Make eye contact, listen attentively and try to be relaxed. Let your enthusiasm for being part of the team and the organization show through to everyone you interact with and you must concentrate on radiating your excitement for this new professional opportunity. Tackle all your duties with eagerness and be pleasant and enthusiastic with everyone.
4. Introduce yourself and be respectful
There will be a lot of introductions on the first day of work. So, you can practice a short introduction of yourself, where you’re from, your background, and what you were doing before joining. Even though you will be formally introduced, you can make the first move and introduce yourself to your new colleagues, especially the ones that you will be working with closely in the first few days. When someone talks to you, focus on them and show that you are paying attention to them. This will help you to build relationships with your colleagues and since initial conversations are going to be work related, you should be prepared to share with them some details about what your new role entails. While you are talking with others, speak clearly and project your voice to leave a great impression.
5. Listen more and ask questions
In the initial days, use your time to get to know the organization in as much detail as possible. Find out about the company’s line of business, its mission and culture from an employee’s perspective. And while you are meeting people, listen more, talk less, observe and get to know the organization, its systems and its processes. Listen very carefully during your induction process and ask relevant questions and find out about the key goals to be accomplished that year, and how your performance will be measured. Such questions will show that you’re interested in what you’re going to be doing. Understanding your role and priorities will allow you to start adding value right away.
A useful thing to do is to carry a notepad (a pad and pen or pencil) to your meetings. You will retain information better when you write it down. You will get a lot of information in the first week at your new job. To make sure that you don’t forget something important, take notes by hand. Don’t use your phone to take handy “notes”. Familiarize yourself with the new premises and find out where common areas, meeting rooms, cafeteria and other departments are located. Your induction training will give you a basic overview of the way things are done, but it’s your colleagues who can give you all the details. If you aren't sure about a task, or a process or about how it should be completed, ask someone who knows. It's better to ask for help if you are not sure....and showing a willingness to ask for help goes a long way in making a great first impression.
6. Have lunch with your colleagues
A great way to meet and get to know people is over lunch and coffee/ tea. You will get to know a lot about your colleagues’ interests, their motivations, and their lives.Having lunch with them will help you to get to know them at a more personal level. So, on your first day, try to join others when they have their lunch or snacks.
7. Avoid Office Politics and Gossip
Avoid the office gossips and don’t get involved in any office politics, especially on your first day at work. Gossiping will not help you to make a good first impression at a new job. It is advisable to be a bit conservative and guarded in your dealings in the early days and to avoid any comparisons and to avoid frequent references to your previous organization. Later on, eventually, you will get exposed to office politics, but try to keep yourself neutral on political workplace issues for as long as you can.
8. Take initiative and volunteer
Even though you will have an induction program, find out from your manager, about who are the key people that you should get to know, what are the processes that you should understand and what are the important projects that you need to understand and refer to so that you can start to work on them. While doing your work, you may find that you may be able to contribute to other related areas. In fact, as you finish assignments, you may be ready to handle a bigger workload, and so take the initiative and volunteer for more assignments.
9. Be a team player
Meet your team, greet them warmly and learn their names. It shows you care! Your team members will appreciate the fact that you took the time to learn their names. Note down what are the normal daily tasks to be done and what are the expectations of the team members from you. It is important to show your colleagues and your team members, your appreciation when they help you out. Showing gratitude lets your colleagues know that you valued their assistance and they may like to help you again in the future. Try to start your new role as quickly as possible, because there is no point in being just the “new guy”. So hit the ground running as soon as you can.
And now the last and the most important point is to be ……. yourself!
A great first impression is important, but it’s possible only when you are…. yourself. Be confident, put on a smile, and show everyone your best self. No one else can do it better than you. So, remember to relax and be open to new thoughts. Get to know your team members and do your work well.
All the best for your first day at work -- and for all the days after that, too!