“Congratulations on your new job!” is precisely what every job seeker is anxious to hear from family, friends, and LinkedIn connections. Getting the job is the first step toward accomplishing your goals. The next step is to impress for future success.
In the job searching process, we’ve talked about how important first impressions are in how you present yourself on your resume and during interviews. Now you have to create a positive first impression with all of your new co-workers. Here are tips that will help you do that.
Prepare in advance for your new job.
There’s a lot that can be done to prepare for your new position. First and foremost, you should be asking for whatever policies and procedures you will be expected to know. Pay particular attention to the company’s social media policies. This information will be covered in an orientation, but asking for it in advance shows initiative. Research and organize information that will help you get a quick start.
COVID awareness is more critical when working onsite than when staying at home.
- First, protect yourself and your family and then protect everyone else. Don’t take risks! Wear PPE when appropriate and especially as required by your new employer’s policies.
- Practice patience. All industries and all people are more stressed than usual. Be patient with yourself and others.
- Pay attention to your own mental and physical health. Exercise, eat well, drink water, meditate, get enough sleep, communicate, and get help if needed.
Be on your best behavior.
As you interviewed by putting your best foot forward, now do so with your training management team. Just because you got the job, doesn’t mean you can’t lose it by slacking off right at the start. You are making a lot of first impressions.
Pretend you’re running for mayor and “shake hands and kiss babies” — be authentically friendly and personable. You want to present yourself as the sharp, energetic, and likable new person on the team, just as you were in the interview process. Find the timing that feels right, and give a quick, energetic introduction to the people you don’t know yet. Giving this some advanced thought can help. Become a networking expert.
Ask a lot of questions.
This shows you are interested in learning their way. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, new employees tend to perform better when they ask more questions.
Don’t rock the boat!
If you are in a position of authority right away, don’t make any changes until you have learned why they do things the way they do. Then, make changes after you are sure you have communicated properly and have secured needed “buy-ins” from above and below.
Be on time for your new job.
Showing up late means that the job is not important. If that is true, you could and should lose your job right at the get-go. And remember that 15 minutes before is on-time. Showing up right on time is late.
Dress and act appropriately.
You must portray the person they interviewed and hired, which is, hopefully, your authentic self.
Gone are the days of off-color comments, hugging, and touching one another even if it is with good intentions. New laws regarding sexual harassment and behavior are clear and to the point.
Thank the person who hired you.
If you didn’t send a handwritten note before, and even if you did, send one to the hiring manager, the managers, and multi-unit people who took the time to give you the “thumbs up.” Take the time also to thank anyone who facilitated the process, such as a referral source and your recruiter. This goes a long way and separates you from the rest of the new hires. You want to look good, right? Write!
Don’t be a know-it-all.
Avoid over-sharing about “how you used to do it” with your previous employers. During training or early stages of employment, you want to observe and learn. See “Don’t rock the boat” above. It is not the right time to provide too much coaching or input to the existing team. The company hired you because they need a strong leader, but no one likes a “know it all,” and you will have opportunities to share your knowledge down the road. The time shall come once you are acclimated and after training is complete, or after you have a sound footing and understanding of the company culture, policies, systems, and goals.
If things do come up that seem odd or out of touch with the training materials or what you’ve been told during the interview process, write it down but don’t go into “complaint” mode. We all know businesses have ups and downs, and things don’t always go “by the book” or as planned. Keep notes so you can address things later, ideally, when asked for input. A good philosophy going into all things new is to keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone, and let your actions and accomplishments highlight you as an outstanding employee, rather than your words.
Be proactive about your development.
As you settle in, you’ll want to start looking to the future. Be proactive. Define success with your manager and make sure you understand the expectations. Set up a 3-month and subsequent reviews to be sure you are staying on track.
Along the path to “fitting in,” you were likely more flexible than you might generally be or than would be practical for time management and your future success. After a few months at a new job, take an introspective look at your boundaries and start to enforce healthy and productive ones that support both you and the company.
Have fun, work hard, and get ahead.
Stay there for a long time — this means the next job you get will be easier because you didn’t commit resume suicide. Good companies will not hire people who bounce from job to job.
As outlined above, you must approach your new position with a sense of excellence and passion in all areas. Training programs, new cultures, and change are difficult for anyone, and there will be bumps along the road. Your commitment and perseverance are essential and will pay off in the long term.
Goodwin Recruiting is here for you every step of the way.
Please reach out to our team if you are a candidate needing help finding your next career opportunity; an employer anxious to hire a candidate who embraces professionalism, knowledge, and the soft skills you desire; or an industry professional who is considering developing a recruiting career. We are dedicated to assisting you with your professional needs. All you have to do reach out through our website.