A month is a long time to wait to start; you may want to keep in touch with your new employer before you start. They may even invite you to the office or for a team drink to meet your future colleagues. If so, make an effort to put in an appearance. Although your employer should have an idea of what you can offer from your interview, your first few days in a new position will have an even stronger bearing on how they will perceive you. Similarly, on your first day, one of your line managers should create a welcoming and supportive environment and should be keen to make a good impression on you.
How to make a good first impression on your first day
Whether you’re a graduate, manager or CEO, the first day in a new job can be daunting. No doubt you want to make the right impression quickly, and a new job success strategy will help you do just that.
Five easy tips to help you make a quick and lasting impression on your first day:
- Be early and well presented: treat your first day almost like the interview; prove to your new boss they made the right decision.
- Remember peoples’ names: Map out a seating plan and put peoples’ names in the various positions. Also make a note of the name of anyone you will have regular contact with such as the receptionist. Greet people by name and use their names when conversing to help embed this information. You will be rapport building at the same time – extra bonus. As uncomfortable as it may be to walk around an office to meet all your colleagues just remember everyone in the office has done the same!
- Ask your boss insightful questions: This is an extension of a first impression so stick to business subjects. Your peers, teams or support staff will be able to point out the coffee machine.
- Listen, listen, listen: In the early stages you should be listening a lot more than talking. Make good quality notes to make the tasks easier – there will be a lot of information to learn about in a short space of time.
- Be quick to observe, slow to judge: Don’t make snap judgements about people or situations.
- Longer Term: Keep focused on what’s important: Keep your job description handy and review it as you are getting up to speed. Reflect on how what you are learning ties to what is expected of you and how you will achieve success.
TOP TIP: Call your recruiter to let them know how it went. Talk through the people you met, the project and how you found your first day. It’s important to share any questions you may have at this early stage and your consultant is best placed to find out information on your behalf.
You only get one shot at a first impression so make sure yours has positive and lasting effects with these five tips.
If you are having second thoughts on your first day
If, on the first day, you feel that you have made a mistake or that you just won't gel with your new colleagues, don’t panic. It often takes time to settle into a new organisation and many people have initial reservations, which they quickly overcome. Before you raise any concerns with your manager, you should complete at least one full week, but preferably two.
Ask for a meeting
Don’t do anything rash like hand in your notice. Any manager worth their salt should take time out to make a new employee feel comfortable, and it could be that they didn’t explain the role properly, or that you misinterpreted them. Once you have voiced your concerns and your manager has responded to them, you'll be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not you wish to stay.