Starting Well in Your Job

Dress to impress

You know the importance of a first impression. As a jobseeker, a first impression was very valuable; now that you’ve accepted a job offer, first impressions are again of critical importance they turn into long-term perceptions and opinions. Dress and behave in a manner that will allow you to establish a stellar reputation and image at work.

Learn the workplace culture

Take the opportunity to observe your co-workers and manager to learn the unwritten rules of the workplace. Try to fit in with the culture. Does everyone arrive a half-hour early and stay at least a half-hour late? What is the protocol for requesting time off? Remember to keep your expectations low and be ready to adapt.

Master communication skills

  • Stand out - Polish your written and verbal communication skills, use the appropriate level of formality and proofread everything.
  • Present well - For verbal presentations, try to learn as much as possible about the expectations of the audience.
  • Consider a course - If you are not comfortable with presentations, consider taking a professional-development course in public speaking.

Portray positive attitude

Nothing works better to improve people’s first impression of you more than having a positive attitude. Let your enthusiasm for being part of the team and the organization show through to everyone you interact with. Take initiative, show curiosity and willing to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you encounter problem at work. Remember that it’s better to ask for clarification before you’ve spent time completing a task the wrong way.

Don’t be a stranger with your team – exert warmth, greet and smile. Leave your personal problems at home and concentrate on radiating your excitement for this new opportunity.

Do your job wonderfully

  • Begin with end in mind - Never pick up a task half-heartedly – envision the task’s end result, understand how to get there, plan and work hard towards it.
  • Be responsive to feedback - Listen, make sure you understand, find out what needs to be done differently, and do it – don’t blame, complain, or make excuses.
  • Be a good company citizen - Build positive, productive relationships with those around you – nobody likes a prima donna; it’s pretty much the kiss of death in your career. Stay above the fray and avoid office politics and gossips.

Manage your time and stay organized

Meeting deadlines and commitments is an important part of earning the respect of your colleagues and supervisors.

  • Stay organized - Get an organizer or planner and keep on top of all your work. Use your Outlook or Apple calendar, with reminders set for important deadlines. Make an Excel spreadsheet or just write a simple to-do list at the beginning and end of every day. Everyone have different techniques; don’t be afraid to try various techniques until you find the one that suits you most.
  • Email effectively - Email provides a constant flow of communication and often includes requests for information and new assignments. Managing the amount of time you spend responding to and issuing email, along with all of your responsibilities, involves prioritization.
  • Track your successes - Create a weekly journal of your accomplishments, projects, learning objectives and goals. This will come in handy at annual review time when you will need to recall what you achieved.
  • Address your desk - Organizing your physical workspace is important. You may want to dedicate a specific amount of time each week to setting up and maintaining a filing system. 

Establish relationships

Camaraderie among co-workers often helps with team-building and overall job satisfaction.

  • Choose wisely - Be careful when it comes to office politics or cliques. Try to avoid those who often complain or talk about others.
  • Be clear on expectations - Communicate regularly with your supervisor to understand his/her expectations and priorities. You might consider requesting a weekly or biweekly meeting during your first six months on the job to get feedback on your progress. 
  • Stand out - Volunteer to lend a hand with priority projects and show both co-workers and supervisors that you’re a team player.

Your office is full of intelligent, thoughtful, and experienced people. Get to know them, treat them with respect, ask them questions, and learn from them. Remember to have fun in the process.

Learn to network

All business is built on relationships, and therefore networking is a critical part of advancement.

  • In office - At the work, take advantage of every opportunity to network with key people in your organization and profession by attending staff meetings, professional organization conferences, and trade shows. Use every opportunity to meet colleagues in your field. Networking with key people can help you identify mentors within your organization
  • Outside office - Outside of work, join an organization or take additional classes to stay ahead in your field. Just because you have a new job does not mean you should suspend your networking. Even in a new job, you should constantly be managing and growing your network of contacts.

To build a rich and useful network of relationships, always remember to give before you ask. Don’t look at networking as a way to get something from others but rather seek ways to provide value to others and help them with their needs. When you do this, your network will grow quickly and will be very valuable to you when you need it.

 

Being the newest member of the organization is both challenging and exciting. You’ll be faced with both difficulties and opportunities, and your goal should be to make the most of all situations. Don’t worry if you don’t make a perfect first impression in those early days on the job — few of us ever do. Remember to relax, keep your mind open, get to know your team members, and do your work. These things should help you go far in making a positive and lasting impression at your new job.

 

Source: Unsplash (photo)