So I Got a Job! Now What?
So you have been hired. Now what? What should you do to make a great first impression in your new job? Most employees who have landed a new job have the impression all is fine. Don’t get caught off guard on your first week! Landing a job is a great first step, but you must ensure your own viability. Surely, the first week on the job is not a time to cruise through your new role. Rather, your first week or month on the job is a time to impress to create a sustainable impression of yourself in your new role.
As a recruiter, I have placed countless job seekers in jobs where after a week or two, they regret taking the job. They start complaining about the work, the office politics, or another person who treats them less than desirable. Then they just want out! The reason for this is they have not created a plan to endure unexpected work pressures, which exist in all jobs. For this reason, I am providing you some strategies to ensure you shine in your new role. They are:
- Arrive Early Every Day
The most obvious of first impressions is to make it to work on time every day. You don’t want to risk being late, so why not be early by ten minutes. You want to set a pattern early on at your new job. Being early by ten minutes will provide you a few moments to use the restroom, set up for work, chit-chat with other employees as they come in to work.
- Dress for Success
Have you seen people who you know did not take a shower before their work day. You can usually tell by their uncombed “pillow hair.” You will want to know what the dress code is before your first day of work then dress accordingly. There are work cultures who dress in various ways from professional attire, to casual dress and in between. Regardless of the dress code, you should comply the best you can. Avoid being over perfumed or cologned, your scent will become the talk of the office.
- Be Proactive – Ask Questions
Don’t wait for others to bring correction to you. Be proactive by asking questions. You want to avoid asking too many questions on a continuous basis. You can do this by securing at least three questions before asking your co-worker or supervisor. Be assured there will be questions, so think through them before asking them. You want to frame them intelligently.
- Be Positive As You Introduce Yourself to Others
What does positivity look like? It starts with a “sunny-disposition” where you shine through your smile and great attitude. Difficulties will arise in the workplace. Some people maybe envious of you, may not like you for whatever reason. So be positive even when you are confronted by negative people and attitudes. Make an effort to greet others with a smile, use “Thank you!” when appropriate, and always be gracious to others. Emotional Intelligence is key in your new role.
- Be Quick to Learn
Your competence is usually measured by how quick you learn and adapt to your new working environment. So be alert, be quick to listen! Get a feel of the office atmosphere. Don’t get caught up in the “Monday blahs” that is common on the first day of the work week. You want to display a consistent demeanor from Monday through Friday; morning and afternoon.
- Build Key Relationships Early On
A good way to build relationships is to ask one new person out to lunch or coffee each week for the first few weeks. A one-on-one meeting with someone gets you noticed and respected. It will also garner you favor as you build confidence with other co-workers in the office. A little investment of your own money goes a long way in the short run. So be willing to invest in others.
- Be a Leader – Bring Solutions Not Problems
There is a phrase you need to learn, perhaps you have heard of it. It is called “Lead Up”. “Leading up” is a way for you to bring issues or problems to light that have been swept under the rug per se, or that others cannot see from their perspective. Don’t just bring problems to meetings or to your supervisor – bring solutions! Think through them before bringing them up. Ensure you have the right understanding and wisdom before doing so.
- Dealing with Toxic Working Environments or Colleagues
You may land a job with a toxic working environment or a toxic colleague or two. So what do you do? Confronting others, especially during the beginning of your new role is not easy to do. After all, you are the new employee, you have not developed enough standing to confront those who have been around for awhile. The best thing to do, is to confront them with gentleness of heart, telling them you are there to be a professional. You are not there to gossip nor belittle others. Second, take note of your conversations. Third, if things persist, take it to your supervisor. It will take time to change an atmosphere, but don’t allow a current toxic environment to change you.
- Become a Team Player
Everyone loves a team player, which is why you need to build solid relationships with others at the beginning of your employment. A team player is someone who sees how their current job contributes to the overall strategy of your job. You will need to work well with others, be an encourager and contribute on time with great results. A reputation as a team player should be your goal.
- Don’t Be the First Person Out the Door
There will be times you will need to leave early for personal reasons. You will need to make them known to your supervisor. However, if you need to clock out at the designated time, let’s say 5pm, don’t be the first one out the door. Do what you did when you came in early but “in reverse” by cleaning up your work area, using the restroom, and chit-chatting on your way out… so by the time you actually leave the office it should be around 5:10pm. This way you show your supervisor and colleagues you were not hired simply for a paycheck.