My first day at work was Halloween. My boss asked some of us to dress up for the occasion: “Feel free to dress up if you’d like.” I went to work dressed as a bagel/avocado. It was hard not to miss me in a sea full grey-blue shirts. Talk about making a great first impression at work! By the end of the day, I had earned the reputation of being all juiced up for holidays. It was worth it when I was invited to be a part of the company’s Party Planning Committee was worth dressing up as a giant, creamy, green fruit to work. I may or may not have created a good first impression at the new job but I sure learned a lot because of the Halloween faux-pas.
The first impression you make at work may not always be an accurate reflection of who you are. This can be daunting, especially when you still have to set yourself up for success from day one. You’ll likely find yourself in a sea of material to start the right way at your new job. It could be work norms, cultural norms, or even internal politics, and in the midst of all this, you still have to establish yourself and avoid being perceived the wrong way by people with whom you’ll spend 40 hours each week.
How to Make a Good First Impression at Work
The HR Digest spoke to several HR professionals to get insights on what is important when you are new at work. Keep reading and find out how to make a good first impression at your new job.
1. Dress to impress
You should maintain a professional appearance in the workplace, and no matter how relaxed the company culture might be, you must be able to show your new boss and colleagues that you care much about what you wear. It is always good to be slightly overdressed, and this means that you can apply business professional attire.
Wear a suit if you are working in a finance or law firm, and never underestimate the importance of the place where you are going to work. If you work in some other industries, you may not need to wear a suit, but you should still maintain a neat and professional look.
Pay attention to what your boss and colleagues are wearing, and try to mimic their style. In this manner, you can be sure that you are properly dressed for the exact workplace.
2. Introduce yourself
When you introduce yourself to new co-workers, make sure that you are friendly and polite. Always smile when you introduce yourself and keep eye contact as you speak. It is not always fully comfortable to be a new person at the office, but remember that, at some point, everyone was new, and they needed to go through the same challenges.
Sometimes, your manager will bring you around for introductions, but if not, you should make it yourself. Say your full name, share something from your past experience, and say that you look forward to working with them. A positive attitude will always be helpful, and make sure that you have a positive approach to every person in the room.
This attitude also applies to all other situations at the company. You should offer help when someone asks for it, and this attitude will be perceived as a friendly one. It is very important to meet all the people that work with you at the same office. You can do it while waiting for an elevator, in the kitchen, or at a meeting. This way, you show that you are positive and open to conversation with others.
3. Ask questions
If you wonder how to make a good impression in the office, you should know that asking questions might be the crucial step that can give you an advantage over other people. Even if you have completed the full training and orientation, you might have certain concerns about the job that you must perform. Asking questions will give you a clearer picture of what exactly you need to do in certain situations, and this is why you should not be afraid to ask when you are not sure.
At the same time, you will leave the impression of the worker who wants to learn more and stay updated with the latest recommendations. Always ask questions and make sure that you take notes when your boss or co-worker explains the things you want to know.
4. Take initiatives
The most important thing for a new employee is to hit the ground running. You’ll be given small doses of work at the beginning of a new job, especially on your first day at work. This allows you to test the waters without getting overwhelmed. Show that you are ready to handle a bigger challenge by finishing the assignments on time and asking for more work.
Be proactive when you meet your co-workers. If you’re asked to join a lunch circle, then go. Save the packed lunch for another day. Don’t be shy about volunteering for other tasks or projects. Show that you’re responsible, driven, and excited about the opportunity by staying one step ahead of your boss’s and team members’ needs.
Everybody wants to work with enthusiastic people, so let them know that you’re excited to grasp the big picture as early as you can.
5. Flex your authentic self
Authenticity is a desirable trait in the workplace. Your authenticity will also allow you to connect better with other people on the team. A recent study showed that 75% of people wanted their coworkers to be authentic and display their true selves at work.
Growing research on authenticity has shown its many benefits, including greater levels of personal well-being and satisfaction. If your employer encourages you to bring your true self to work, then grab that chance on the first go. When you’re authentic, you’re more likely to be creative, effective and proactive in the workplace. All the more chance for you to build genuine relationships and make a great first impression at your new job right from the start.
6. Find a mentor
The right mentor can change your career path. Keep an eye out for someone in the workplace who could be a professional mentor to you. Done right, you can expand your network by meeting people within the mentor’s network.
7. Stay organized
Keeping your workstation organized can help you make a good impression at work. Organizational skills will show that you are an efficient and responsible team member, and will help you get promoted in the future.
A well-organized workplace enables you to find everything when you need it. This habit will come in handy when your coworkers and clients visit your office regularly. A recent study shows that employees with good organizational skills make a good first impression at work and help you receive more promotions than those with less efficient habits.
The first day at work can be stressful and full of pieces of information, but if you follow the mentioned 7 steps, it will be easier for you to make a good first impression at a new job. Remember that you can only create the first impression once, and that is why you should apply the mentioned steps in this process.