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Starting a new job? While it’s important to leave a positive impression on everyone at the office, your boss is the most important of the bunch.
“I think the early days are when your boss and colleagues form the most lasting impressions about you,” observes Ann Marie Russell, a phycology grab from University of Massachusetts and a program coordinator with AmeriCorps. “This is when they make assessments about your ‘typical’ behavior — the ‘type’ of person you are.”
Put your nerves aside and focus on these strategies and steps to make a great first impression.
Show up on time to work and in meetings, dress appropriately, keep your desk clean, etc.
Regardless of experience, most people are nervous on their first day of work. Bosses like people who seem confident and know what they are talking about—or are eager to learn. Even if you don’t feel confident, act confident. No one is going to listen to an idea presented by someone who doesn’t sound sure of themselves.
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Have a Positive Attitude
Along with being confident, having a positive attitude is equally as important. Whether the day is going great or horribly wrong, staying positive is important.
Starting a new job automatically means you won’t know everything about the position and workplace, so asking questions is key. Sometimes new employees avoid asking questions because they fear looking stupid, but most supervisors would rather an employee ask a question than make a mistake later.
Learn Names Quickly
No one is going to expect a new employee to know everyone’s name on the first day, but after the first week you should be well on your way. Not only does it make communicating easier, but it also shows that you really care about your job and the people around you.
Whether you prefer to take notes or not, showing your boss that you care enough to write down what they are saying is important. It’s easy to forget tiny details – dates, goals, tasks – so the more you write down, the better.
Put in Full Days – Or Even Longer
Be on time, come in early, or stay a little later. There is nothing that can shatter a reputation faster than consistently coming in late (unless it’s allowed) or ducking out early all of the time. This doesn’t mean you need to work 10 hour days at your new job, but leaving right when the clock hits 5 isn’t always a good idea. Finish up the task at hand and show your boss that you’re in it for the long haul.
Bond with Your Co-Workers
Don’t be the one co-worker who always leaves as people are headed out to a movie or happy hour. It’s always a good idea to get to know your co-workers outside of the office. It doesn’t have to be a recurring thing, but every once in a while it is nice to spend time together and laugh outside of work.
Keep Your Boss Informed
Especially towards the beginning of a new job, keeping your boss informed is important. Send out emails or request meetings with your boss on a consistent basis to review performance and talk about projects. Express interest in promotions or new accounts, and be sure he or she knows you are a self-starter. Be cautious of taking up too much of your supervisor’s time, however – check-ins are good, but hand-holding is not.