How to make a great impression in your new job

Everyone knows that first impressions count, so it is a good idea to set some personal standards

The first few days in a new job can be both daunting and exhilarating. You are full of enthusiasm and looking forward to the challenges and opportunities, but also nervous about getting to grips with new policies and procedures and meeting your co-workers.

How should you approach the first few days and weeks in your new position?

Everyone knows that first impressions count, so it is a good idea to set some personal standards. Ensure that you arrive on time and are not the first to leave the office at 5pm. Unless it is unavoidable, do not phone in sick.

Make sure you are suitably dressed and look professional. If you need to make a personal call or check your email, try to do so on your own time, such as in your lunch break, and keep it to a minimum. Make sure you are well organised so that you do not miss a meeting or a key deadline.

Forming positive relationships with your line manager and co-workers is key to a successful and enjoyable career, so make the effort early on and it will pay dividends.

Try to get to know the names of your team members as soon as you can. Using their names on a regular basis during conversations may seem unnatural to start off with, but will help you to remember them in the longer term.

Let your co-workers know that you are a team player and willing to help where appropriate and share the credit for a job well done.

Ask questions and show appreciation for their assistance. Avoid getting involved with office politics and gossip, especially in the early days, as this will not only give you a bad reputation but can also be a dangerous game until you know who’s who.

Set up regular meetings with your line manager to review your progress and share your achievements and career aspirations.

If the company offers out-of-hours activities, get involved – even if it is not really your thing. This is a great way to build relationships with co-workers.

If other networking opportunities present themselves, take them. Whether the opportunity is a meeting or an event, this is a great way to build stronger relationships across the organisation and gain valuable insight into the wider business.

Once you have been in your role for a while, you might want to start looking for a mentor who is in a more senior role and can help to guide you and your career. The effort you put into networking in the early days can really help you to identify the right mentor for you.

If you are looking at career progression, it is a good idea to keep track of your achievements and experiences and identify how they might help you to achieve the next step.

You may also want to consider putting together a career plan that details where you want to be in the next six months, one year and five years.

Look at the areas in which you know you will need further development and consider how you can gain this experience.

Overall, be yourself and be positive about the new opportunity that you have been given.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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