Ace your first week on the job with these easy tips

We know that transiting into a new job can be daunting. You want to put your best foot forward, excel professionally and socially, and hit your targets. But doubts and new job jitters tend to creep in.

However, by approaching your new position strategically and by committing to providing value from day one you will set yourself up for early and continued success.

These techniques and tips will help you prosper in your new job so you won’t be wondering if you made a good first impression - you will know you did.

Be punctual

This essential first step to making a good first impression should be a no-brainer. However, it extends far past the time you clock in.

Being punctual to meetings and training sessions demonstrates that you have respect for your job and for your colleagues. It demonstrates that you know how to manage your time, have planned for contingencies, and that ultimately you are dependable.

Set realistic expectations for yourself

Make some time to sit down with your manager in your first week to set clear expectations for the road ahead. Together, come up with an action plan to highlight the targets and actionables you hope to achieve within a set period of time.

This can be as simple as learning the company software to attaining your first client. This will demonstrate to your manager that you are proactive, serious about your position and that you hope to make a meaningful impact. Plus you will have a powerful indication of what is expected of you going forward.

Get to know your office space

Don’t expect to have the lay of the land on your first day but make an effort to get to know the space you will be spending most of your days. By getting to know your office space, you are learning the resources that you have at your disposal. It’s hard not to make a good impression when you are doing everything you can to perform to the best of their ability.

Dress the part

Every company culture is different and that is often reflected in their office attire. Try to align yourself with the company dress code. However, when in doubt - dress better than you think you should. As the saying goes, ‘it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed’.

Engage your colleagues and treat everyone with respect

There are so many benefits to meeting and engaging with your new colleagues. Understanding their roles will help you understand the internal dynamics of your new organization. It will help you set expectations for each other, invite collaboration, and ultimately build a safe workspace that people want to be a part of.

When new employees listen and show a genuine interest in others they are instantly likable. So, try to find out a bit more about your colleagues by asking what is important to them, how they spend their time outside of work and allowing them to express their opinions and views.

Like all employees, new hirees should respect everyone around the office regardless of their position. Executives and housekeepers both deserve the same level of respect. Be aware of your demeanor, body language, and tone of voice when engaging with all levels of staff.

Remember names

As Dale Carnegie said, “A person's name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” Therefore it goes a long way in creating a great impression when you remember your new co-worker’s names.

Names can be tricky to remember wherever you are but there are some tactics to make it easier:
1.    When someone introduces themselves immediately repeat their name. Something like, “Nice to meet you, ____”. If it is an unusual name ask them to spell it out for you
2.    Attach an association to their name. See if you can create a rhyme or alliteration that will help you to remember, like Marie from Marketing.
3.    After your interaction, write down their name and their department or job title

Your coworkers will be truly flattered when you remember their names, even after a fleeting encounter.

Learn how to use your company’s PowerPoint template

PowerPoint is a ubiquitous tool in almost any corporate environment and you will likely encounter the program in many of your daily activities. Staff meetings, business reports, client presentations, and research reports often all revolve around Powerpoint.

If your company relies heavily on a specific PowerPoint template you can set yourself apart on the first couple days of your new job by learning to use it properly.

Apply your existing knowledge of your previous employer’s template but don’t expect everything to be the same.

Taking the initiative to learn about this unique aspect of your new corporation will demonstrate that you are a go-getter early on.

Create a template

In the unlikely event that your office does not already have their own Powerpoint template then you should take the proactive step to create your own.

Not only will this save you and your colleagues’ time in the future, but it also establishes you as the go-to PowerPoint person in the office. To learn how to create a PowerPoint template (step-by-step), read this template guide here.

Ask for feedback

It never hurts to ask for constructive feedback from your colleagues and superiors. However, don’t ask for too much of their time or it might feel like a burden. Instead, ask for 10 - 15 minutes, at the end of the week, to discuss how you can continue to improve. This authenticates your investment in the company and gives you a solid indication of how you are performing.

Summarize your learning

Reflection is the key to wisdom- so meditate on your first week:

     What expectations were fulfilled?
     What expectations were not fulfilled?
     What was the biggest surprise in the first week?
     Who are the crucial stakeholders?
     What is the best communication method and cadence for you and your boss?
Mulling over your first week on the job helps you learn from your experience. Unburden yourself by sharing it with a friend or loved one then go on to enjoy the weekend!

Implementing these tactics from the moment you step in the door of your new job will make you instantly likable, demand a good impression from your colleagues, and set you up for long term professional success.

Congratulations on your new job and good luck! 

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