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This story originally appeared on DollarSprout.
The first day of your new job can be intimidating. You know you need to understand the pros and cons of your new role, but you also want to get along with your employees and managers.
The first day of a new job "sets the tone for what kind of employee you will be in the future," said Darren Easton, vice president and creative director at The Cyphers Agency. "When you immediately show that you have a good, positive attitude and get on with people, you will be someone that your employees will not only want to work with but also support when they are facing challenges."
According to Psychology Today, people can make their first impressions within seven seconds. These can turn into long-term perceptions that affect your success in your role and career. So it is important that you do everything right from the start.
Your new co-workers and supervisors will determine if you exude confidence, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills. These soft skills in the workplace are important as they can help you fit into your new role and be successful.
Whether you work remotely or in an office, the following steps will show you these characteristics.
1. Show up early.
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When you show up early you are responsible, organized, and value your job. However, it is important to determine this right depending on the nature of your job. Remote workers should be able to join conference calls a minute or two earlier, and hourly workers should also be minutes earlier. Although you won't get paid for the extra time, being timely can set the tone on the first day of a new job.
If you're a full-time in-house employee, your manager may need time to prepare for your arrival – and you don't want to be perceived as overzealous. A good rule of thumb: Arrive 15 minutes earlier with personal jobs, suggests Myra T. Briggs, HR consultant and practice manager at Nonprofit HR.
“That gives you time to be sure to log in, find out where to park or have a cup of coffee. Then register five minutes before your start time, ”says Briggs.
And if you haven't already done the commute, practice it once or twice before your first day. Arriving late because you're lost or bumped into traffic can feel disorganized.
2. Dress for the job.
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You don't have to dress like the executives, but your clothes need to reflect that you are serious about your job. During the interview process, ask about the dress code and show up in your best version on the first day.
"If everyday culture is jeans and sports shoes, for example, opt for flawless jeans, casual shoes and a business casual top," says Briggs.
Many organizations have a "dress for the day" policy, adds Briggs. That means you should dress appropriately for day-to-day commitments, but may dress casually if you don't have outward-facing responsibilities.
And if you're working remotely, your shirt may be the only item of clothing that appears in video conferencing. However, it should look professional and you should look well-groomed with a clean background.
3. Get to know the building layout or the company structure.
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You'll likely get a tour of the building on your first day on a new job, but you probably won't remember where everything is.
Knowing where to find important rooms – offices, bathrooms, or break rooms – can help you appear more organized. Plus, you save time by not getting lost. Your HR manager may have a diagram of the building and location of everyone. However, you can also create your own chart or just take notes.
Remote workers should ask for a list of employee names, titles, and email addresses. Find out who to contact and for what purpose.
Every new job comes with a learning curve. So don't be afraid to ask an employee for help or instructions, or even to find out who is responsible for what tasks. It can be a great way to start an initial conversation and make work friends.
4. Bring new ideas to the table.
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Innovation is a quality that most managers like to see. However, you can appear selfish when you show up with a list of changes on the first day on a new job. Instead, try this longer-term idea generation process that can start on day one:
- As you carry out the main tasks of your job, think about what can be improved.
- Write down notes about new processes, projects, and tools that can help your team.
- When the time comes, for example in discussions with your manager or in meetings, come up with the solutions that you have come up with.
- If another coworker helped brainstorm, give them credit.
- If your schedule allows, help implement the changes.
Creating these new ideas can help you stand out from work and advance your career.
5. Volunteers for assignments.
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When you volunteer for assignments, you show initiative and a willingness to learn something new. You can offer to make a photocopy, email a customer, or organize a meeting.
As a new hire, 90% of your attention should be focused on learning your job while the other 10% can be focused on those small tasks, says Kathy Robinson, founder of TurningPoint, a company that provides career advice. You want to make sure that you devote enough time to learning your role.
"You have to be careful, however, that you don't become a dump for grunt work that nobody else wants to do," says Robinson.
Try to find a balance between helpfulness and productivity at work. Stay in touch with your boss, whether through regular meetings or occasional emails, to make sure what you want to do is actually doable.
6. Learn names.
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According to an article in Psychology Today, 85% of adults forget names. However, learning names is crucial to be recognized by the people you interact with the most, such as: B. your managers and employees, to the receptionist, maintenance staff, security, etc.
"It's a mark of respect," says Briggs. "It's always a challenge, but if you take the time to do it, you'll appreciate your people. Learning how to pronounce names is also very important, so don't be afraid to ask." If you know people's names, you will also be seen as an insider who will help you fit into the company and influence your role.
The first time you talk to someone, repeat their name. Ask them to spell it out if it's complicated. Then repeat the name when you say goodbye. You can also use what Psychology Today calls "Look, Snap, Connect":
- Appearance: Focus on the name.
- Snap: Create a mental picture of the name and face.
- Connect: Connect the name and mental picture so you can refer to the information later.
If the person is using a nameplate in their office or on their desk, this can also help.
7. Show respect to your boss and employees.
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Respect is a key feature in any work environment. It encourages teamwork and professionalism and lets people know that they are valued. In fact, especially at work, people want to feel heard and respected, says Robinson.
There are a number of ways you can show respect, starting with these small steps:
- Practice good body language. About 55% of communication is shared through body language. You can send a respectful message by making eye contact, standing in good posture, and not crossing your arms or rolling your eyes.
- Be a good listener. If another person is talking, don't interrupt. Listen to what they are saying and add something valuable to the conversation.
- Do your job. You could be left behind at work if you arrive late, get lost in work gossip, or don't manage your time well. Employees may need to fill your void, which can indicate that you are ruthless.
- Be punctual. Get to work on time and make sure you get your job done on time. Then take a few minutes here and there to connect with your co-workers.
- Practice clear communication. When discussing work projects with your employees via email or in person, be uncomplicated so that they know exactly what you need. Practice using diplomatic language to appear respectful.
- Don't let your work problems fall on others. Problems arise all the time at work. But what matters is how you solve them. Try to find solutions and keep your level headed before passing the problem on to someone else. Explain how you think they can help.
If, for any reason, you have trouble respecting a colleague, speak to your manager or Human Resources. They may have some suggestions or they may be able to arrange a meeting to resolve the issues.
The first day on a new job is a precedent for the future
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According to Robinson, good organization is the main ingredient in making a good impression and advancing your long-term career. Organized people usually get their jobs done because they are managing their time well, clarifying problems (and possible solutions), and potentially having time to volunteer for additional tasks.
Finally, if you've proven yourself to be a good employee, you can even apply for a raise.
"The more you can deliver, the more likely you are to make a good impression," says Robinson, "and ultimately achieve the career advancement you want."
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