Top Tips to Make a Great Impression at Your New Job

There’s no doubt that starting out in a new position is highly stressful. We feel the pressure to make a great impression on colleagues and the bosses at just the time when we are really vulnerable because we are trying to learn the ropes. First off, take a deep breath and focus on being more relaxed. You got the job and so you can begin with the confidence that you are wanted and that someone sees in you the capacity to be a success at this new job.
Right from the Start – It helps to be meticulous about getting the basics right. Show up on time and looking good. Being punctual is a sign of respect and reliability. Be clear on the dress code for your new work-place and make sure you are well-groomed and appropriately dressed.
Know what is expected of You – Makes sure that you and your team members, and you and your boss are clear about expectations upfront. Find out what the immediate priorities and issues are. Understand the formats you need to work in and present results in. Make sure you are clear about time-lines. Know ahead of time how your performance will be assessed.
Fast-track your Learning – Be proactive about learning as much about your new company as fast as possible. Research back issues of the company’s newsletters, annual reports and media coverage. If you are also new to the industry, research your company’s competitors and business environment.
Be willing and able – Become aware of your team and your boss’s needs, and see where you can help out. If you have the right skills to solve a problem, then step up and make the offer, even if it may be in an area outside of your job description. Be well-disposed to working late or starting early if you have the opportunity to be of service. Actively pursue chances for growth and making an impact.
Be Enthusiastic about Learning from Others – While being confident of the skills and experience that won you the new position, remain humble about your inexperience in this particular company. Tune into those who offer information, insights and advice. Spend much more time listening to others and assessing what they have to say than feeling the need to tell them what you know. Express your genuine appreciation in a professional way to those who are helpful to you and to those who make efforts to make you feel included and comfortable.
Think Before you Speak – In new situations we often we feel like we need to talk to make an impression, but this urge can often work against us by showing up our naiveté and inexperience, as well as leading to social gaffes. Be aware that there’s a lot you don’t know. You learn more, much faster by listening and observing, instead talking and drawing attention to yourself. You will need to discern well between the times when it is wiser to hold back sharing your opinions, and the times when you should speak up. Practice thinking before you speak to ensure that you focus on what value you can add to others rather than talking just to give someone an impression of yourself. There will be times when despite your inexperience, you have great value to add through sharing your insights or giving opinions. Be clear and authentic about what you know and what you don’t know. Resist showing off.
Make the Effort to Understand Others – Working successfully in a new job is much more than knowing your role and the company, you need to know the people too. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, consciously hone your ‘people-watching’ skills. Identify the influencers and the stars in your new team. Notice the personalities and the group dynamics. Observe people’s different work habits and schedules so that you can see when they are most open to connecting and sharing. Identify character traits, skills and biases. Use this awareness to adapt your style so that you can fit in with the variety of personalities in your team.
As daunting as starting a new job is, it is also a time that is full of opportunities to satisfy your inclination to make a great impression. You don’t have to rush to the finish line, grabbing frantically at every opportunity. It naturally takes time to gain the respect of others, and so it can help if you can reduce your need for immediate approval and acceptance.