Nobody ever starts a new job and says, "I hope I make a poor first impression today!" We all want to make a good impression on our new bosses and co-workers, and we often go to great lengths to do just that. And yet, a lack of knowledge about the company culture and other expected behaviors can lead new team members in the wrong direction.
The Basis of a Good First Impression
It's not enough to work hard if you don't know and understand the particular expectations of employees at your new company and your new position. Other behaviors like showing up on time or early, following stated policies, reaching out to team members for help and being appreciative when help is given, are fairly universal and a good way to make a positive impression in any job.
To find out about company culture and specific expectations, you can ask during the interview process what is expected of your position and employees company-wide in the first 90 days. You may also be able to research the company culture online or ask your contacts within the company for direction to find out more about what you can do during your first days and weeks to build a solid reputation there.
Dressing the Part
It may be unfortunate at times that how you dress plays such a big part in how people see you, but you can use that to your advantage when you start a new job. If you can, visit the area where you will be working and observe how people in your department dress. They say you should dress for the position you want rather than the one you have, but either way, you should dress to mimic the people who seem to be the most successful in your position or similar roles.
Don't Lobby for Change . . . Yet
It's never good to go into a brand new situation and think you're going to make changes—and a new job is no exception. While you might think you have better ideas about how to do things, you will definitely make a negative first impression if you try to implement those ideas right away. Give yourself a few months to see how things work before you try to change them—unless you were hired to do so.
A Positive Attitude Is Important
Even if you are great at your job, you will make an unfavorable impression if you are negative in your attitude and demeanor. Conversely, a positive attitude will draw helpful people towards you so that you will be better able to do your job well. Positive people are helpful and always try to look on the bright side of things. Others naturally want to be around them and think of them as valuable team members with a lot to contribute.
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