Making a good impression at a new job

Nov. 06, 2019

5 Steps for Making a Good Impression at a New Job

Starting a new job can be daunting. Not only are you working in an unfamiliar place with people you don’t know, but you’re also trying to impress your new employer.

The thing about first impressions is that you only get one. These are the fundamental, yet too often overlooked, tips for making a good first impression at a new job.

1. Be on time, seriously

This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people miscalculate their commute time. Yes, the Hawaii gridlock is real and public transportation is inconsistent at best. If you’re driving, don’t forget to figure out your parking situation. Is parking in the same building or four blocks from the office? Does the parking lot fill up fast and is there a fee? If you are running late, please call your boss to let them know.

2. Keep it positive and avoid bad mouthing your previous employer

One of the first things your new coworkers will want to know is what brought you to the company. In other words, why did you leave your last job? Even if your previous boss really was the worst, don’t tell them that, it comes off negative and unprofessional. Keep your response as neutral as possible and focus instead on the exciting opportunities ahead.

3. Ask your new boss about job expectations

There’s no better way to get the lay of the land than to check directly with your new boss. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Are you dressed appropriately for the job? Are there special procedures for taking lunch breaks? What is your boss’ preferred communication style—email, phone call, instant message? Understanding what’s expected of you is the only way to be sure you meet those expectations and succeed in your new role.

4. Take notes and show gratitude

The first weeks and even months of your new job will likely be information overload. Do everyone a favor and take notes. Even if you think you’ve memorized it all, writing things down will help you recall and retain information. More importantly, it shows you’re engaged and respectful of your trainer’s time. On that note, be sure to always show gratitude and thank anyone who is training you.

5. Be friendly, but don’t overshare

It’s natural to want to forge connections with your new coworkers, but do not overshare personal information. That means keeping your wild weekend plans, family drama, and love life to yourself, at least for now. The reality is that people will be quick to form opinions about you, so it’s best to let the quality of your work speak for itself.


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