You only get one chance to make a first impression. You’ve heard that before. It can be applied to every aspect of your life. But when you’re just starting out in a new role, it’s probably the most important time to make that impression a great one. Every day I speak with job seekers and hiring authorities. I am constantly hearing stories about how people behave in an interview setting, or in the early days of a new role. Most of the time people knock it out of the park. They hit the ground running. Unfortunately, in my years as a recruiter, I can share just as many horror stories of people who didn’t make a great first impression. So, what do you need to do to set the right tone when you make your next move? I believe it comes down to overcommunicating, bringing a good work ethic and building relationships.
Overcommunicate from day one. First, learn how to communicate best within this new organization. Start by observing, assessing and learning the culture. I get a lot of complaints from clients about employees not communicating. I encourage every candidate I work with to err on the side of caution, and overcommunicate from day one. It’s never a bad thing to ask questions, ask for clarification and repeat instructions. I promise, this translates to someone who is eager to thrive in their role.
Bring a Strong Work Ethic
If you want to make a great first impression, bring a solid work ethic with you on day one. Come in early, stay late. Do the training. Make sure you understand what it is your role entails. If you have questions, ask them. Don’t be afraid to overachieve. This is where that overcommunication really comes into play. You need to show from the get-go that you are here to not only grow in your career, but help move your company forward. This not only shows that you are committed to your current role, but a solid work ethic will set you up for growth and future opportunity within your new organization
This is something I encourage you to do from day one. It is critically important to get to know your peers, get to know those you work for, and to build relationships with all of those people. In my previous career we had a great training program that included reading Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” My biggest takeaway from that book – listen more than you talk. People want to tell you their story. Ask them questions, get them talking about themselves. Keep in mind you can actually make a great first impression when you do 90% of the listening as a opposed to all of the talking. And remember, those relationships are going to be key as you move up through the company and possibly even move on to greater opportunities in the future.