Starting a new job is the perfect opportunity for a clean slate. You can take what you have learnt from past experiences and put it to use to do even better in your career. How you begin this journey is very important in ensuring this success. First impressions determine how people perceive you as soon as you enter the office.
“First impressions are the most lasting“
The way that you behave early on, will determine how people will perceive you for as long as you are in that job. So being conscious of the first impressions that you give off can help you improve them and thrive in your new job.
This post has been inspired by my own experience. I recently started working at a new company and I started feeling the need to wipe the slate clean. And to also make changes that will be beneficial for my career. After a lot of self-reflection…I found that I am just getting in the way of my own success. I had been making excuses.
“Networking is not my thing…where would I begin?”
“I am a shy person, so I can’t start conversations with new people.”
“I can’t introduce myself to the MANAGER…I’ll do my work and let the outcomes speak for me.”
Thing is, I knew how to present myself in order to reach my highest potential in my work space. But these excuses were just holding me back from my success.
So with my new journey I decided to step out of my comfort zone and make the right first impressions. This has been soooo beneficial for me. I am already more engaged at work and setting myself up to thrive in my career.
Here are some tips that you can try out for yourself.
Present the right attitude
If you want to grow in your career show your willingness to learn from the onset.
Be humble, not only to your manager but to your colleagues as well. Treat everyone with respect. You will definitely need help from these people plus it is just the right thing to do.
Offer to the do the tasks that nobody else wants to take on, also known as donkey work. This will portray you as someone who is a hard worker and is willing to do the tasks that are in the best interest of the company/department, no matter how boring they may be. Show interest in other people’s projects… when you bump into them in the kitchen, ask them what they are working on. This shows that you are a team player and you’re of course always willing to broaden your horizons and learn new things even during your lunch break.
Communication and openness is very important, especially in the first few days.
Instead of staying in your little desk in the corner, try and interact with your new colleagues. This is a very daunting task for someone as down to earth as I am, I know. But knowing how beneficial it is going to be in the long run makes it worth it.
Learn and observe your colleagues so that you know who to approach (and how to approach them) when you need help with different aspects of your job. Remember these people know the tips and tricks of the trade, so it will be good to interact with them.
One of my biggest principles is to ask questions. I am against suffering in silence if I can get help from someone. It will save you time and frustration. Most workplaces have an “open door policy”, so take advantage of that as much as you need to.
If you keep to yourself, they might get the vibe that you are not a team player, you think that you are better than them and don’t need their help. So open up a little.
Avoid Office Politics
Avoid getting wrapped up in office politics. The inception of it all may be so subtle and could happen from your very first week. Take note of it and avoid it then so you may avoid getting into a sticky mess later on.
Another nasty thing to avoid is office gossip. I recently read that gossiping makes you unattractive. But besides this, it is not a task for the office. Let me be honest…I’ve always been in a posse of friends, so gossiping was bound to happen. But with the new slate, comes new behaviors.
Dress Up For the Occasion
This is my Favorite! Dress up for the occasion. Be comfortable but dress appropriately for the respective industry.
I like my office wear outfits but in my industry, I might have to go on site. This means that I should wear huge safety boots, helmets and overalls during those times. So that means that I have to carry my PPE with me at all times. It is a tedious but absolutely necessary. This way I am dressed appropriately for both the office and site work. I fit in both in the office and on site.
Quick tip: observe the dress code as early as the interview stages, this will give you an idea of whether the company would be a good cultural fit for you.
For tips on how to build your office wardrobe, read this post.
Be Yourself, Be Unique
Most importantly, be yourself. They hired you specifically for a certain unique quality that you bring to the table.
Keep the office/workplace etiquette in mind, but also express yourself every chance that you get. It may be beneficial to present a fresh perspective that no one else considered. This will also prove you to be an innovative, out of the box thinker.
Being a Virgo myself, I understand that change can be difficult and uncomfortable but it has to happen. Make the right first impressions and remember
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”
These tips have worked well for me, I already have a different outlook on the workplace and what I can do to succeed in my career.
Let me know which tips you will try and how it goes in the comments section below.
Wish you all the best!