You’ve signed the contract, got an email and a start date. You might think the job’s in the bag but in truth the adventure is just beginning – what happens at work stays at work and in people’s memories.
So how do you go about making a great first impression in the workplace?
Our specialist consultants tell us here.
So, what’s your first tip for making a great first impression in a new role?
Get there on time. Number one.
And don’t be a clockwatcher. Just because your hours were advertised at 9 – 5 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in extra time if there’s a need.
What should I wear?
Ha! That depends very much on the role, of course, but dress appropriately.
There’s no point going to work looking as dapper as James Bond if you’re on a building site. Tweet: There’s no point going to work looking as dapper as James Bond if you’re on a building site. @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel http://goo.gl/Zroaug
Take a look at the place when you go for your interview and get the low down on the company’s style. They may even have a dress code – so, if you’re wearing a uniform make sure it’s washed, pressed and cared for.
Going to work in a colourful dress when everyone else is wearing understated black might not be wrong, per se, but it might make you memorable for the wrong reasons. You don’t have to unleash your personality full throttle in the first week – if at all!
Speaking of which, how should I get to know my colleagues?
Starting a new role with new people is daunting, but it’s important to be approachable. Tweet: Starting a new role with new people is daunting, but it’s important to be approachable. @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel http://goo.gl/Zroaug
Although you might hope they’d come and welcome you that’s not always how it works, so it’s really up to you to make the first move and introduce yourself, if they don’t.
And, actually, if you do this in the right way – by which I mean, don’t get chatting nonstop – you pave the way for future communication.
It’s much easier to ask someone for help or advice or simply interact once you’ve broken the ice – just remember to memorise names!
Am I expected to know everything?
No. This is a mistake many ambitious recruits make. In a bit to make a great impression they make rash promises and can’t live up to them. It’s far better to set achievable targets, then once you’ve familiarised yourself raise the career bar.
However experienced you are culture and approach is different for every company. Hopefully you’ll get a comprehensive induction which will help you integrate, but unfortunately that’s not always the case – thus the high rate of people leaving new jobs within 6 months!
But if a place is understaffed, say, you might be expected to hit the ground running with little to no warm up period, as it were. Although this isn’t always great, it’s then up to you make the opportunities you need to find out what’s what.
Talking to people, going to work socials, reading company literature can all help.
But my old job did this much better, should I say something?
Again, if you’re ambitious you might be itching to make suggestions on how output could be increased, but your first weeks aren’t the time to do it.
You might think you’re the first to have ‘solved’ X challenge, but the likelihood is you’re not. Once you’ve been in a role for a bit you’ll have a better feel for how things work and who to approach.
Equally only talk about your old job if someone asks not as a benchmark.
So I should be asking questions, right?
Yes! The more you learn about the job the more questions you’re likely to have. Do ask! Tweet: Yes! The more you learn about the job the more questions you’re likely to have. Do ask! @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel http://goo.gl/Zroaug
Equally, don’t bug the person opposite with one question after another. If you’ve got a lot of queries note them down and arrange a time to talk them through with an appropriate person – maybe a ‘buddy’ or your line manager.
It’s always better to ask than try and look like you know it all – it’ll only come back to bite you. Tweet: It’s always better to ask than try and look like you know it all – it’ll only come back to bite you. @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel http://goo.gl/Zroaug
Does it look good making the tea?
Again, this might depend on the company.
But, getting to the know the tea round can be a great way to get to know people, whoever you are. Tweet: But, getting to the know the tea round can be a great way to get to know people, whoever you are. @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel http://goo.gl/Zroaug
One time I was the only woman in a room of guys and it was really hard to break the ice. I realised it was up to me. Although we simply got up and made our own drinks one day my mum suggested I take in a cake to get the conversational ball rolling. It worked a treat! From then on I was one of the ‘boys’.
So, what other info should I get under my belt?
I’d say learn the so-called boring stuff like: using the photocopier, printers, projectors, anything like that.
I know someone who had to do a bit of IT helpdesk alongside their admin role. When it comes down to it we’re all reliant on these things to get our job done, so knowing how to connect the projector or troubleshoot printer problems made them pretty popular.
What about my everyday duties, any advice there?
Yes, although you may not be expected to know everything you should still do everything to the best of your ability.
For example, show you’re taking information on board, don’t just say ‘you’re new and don’t know X’. Go find out. Work it out. Try it out. And, get feedback.
Any last comments on making first impressions?
Remember this is your chance to shape the way people will think of you for a long time to come.
It’s in your power to make the best impression you can, so make the most of it. Tweet: It’s in your power to make the best impression you can, so make the most of it. @Angel_HR_UK #QAngel http://goo.gl/Zroaug
As usual, we’d love to hear from you!
Share your questions and insights using the hashtag #Q&Angel
If you want to receive more of this sort of thing then join our mailing list HERE
OR if you want to sign up and get first dibs on all our best roles click HERE