Making the Right First Impression

Now that you’ve landed a job after college, it is your responsibility to take ownership of your new position. Your new job isn’t necessarily about making friends and being the most popular, it is about making a solid first impression so that your co-workers and employers understand you’re a hard worker. In doing so, your co-workers will begin to trust you and your employer will recognize your efforts. 

Dress Appropriately

During your interview, pay attention to how the people in your office were dressed. If they were dressed in business suits, then you should mimic this dress code. On the other hand, if everyone in the office was in shorts and t-shirts, you may want to wear khakis and a button down shirt (or a professional dress for women) on your first day. A good rule of thumb is to dress one level up from your new co-workers on your first day of work.

Don’t be Late

Especially on your first day, make every effort to be on time for work. That means taking extra time for morning stops and rush hour traffic. Being late for work sets a bad tone for your work ethic, and can look unprofessional. Set your alarm clock for an earlier time, and give yourself plenty of time to get ready and get to work. Your employer will notice, and they will appreciate your punctuality.

Don’t Leave Early

In the first few weeks of your new job, it may be tempting to leave work early. This is especially true if you are training and don’t have a full workload yet. Avoid the temptation to leave work early, and instead ask what you can be doing to help out your co-workers. If there isn’t extra work for you to help with, go over your training materials to show initiative.

Be Approachable

Being approachable means acting friendly, but staying professional. Shake everyone’s hand that you meet, and smile as you talk with people. Never complain about work, and leave your personal frustrations at the door when you get to the office. Your co-workers are just getting to know you, so you don’t want to taint their impression of you by complaining too much, or discussing personal problems.

While it’s important to be social at work, it’s also necessary to find a balance between social discussion and work obligations. Don’t be the employee always chatting at the office. Instead, be friendly and personable during appropriate breaks, and make an effort to get to know your co-workers.

Ask Questions

When you’re training, be sure to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. This will show the training manager that you are paying attention, and that you are devoted to getting the job done right. On the other hand, be sure to pay attention so that you don’t have to ask too many questions. If needed, bring a notepad so you can write things down to remember them more efficiently.

Simply put, you want to put your best foot forward on your first day of work, and during the subsequent weeks. Allowing your new co-workers and employers to see that you are professional and hard working, as well as friendly and enthusiastic will make you a sure favorite around the office.

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