Starting a new job is never going to be easy, especially if this is your first ‘real-world’ position. Even the most confident people can crumble after accidentally calling their manager ‘mum’. Aside from the obvious faux pas like hangovers and tardiness, Lizzi Hart of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau runs through her top 8 ways to impress during those crucial first five days.
1. Introduce yourself to everyone
It’s an incredibly nerve-wracking hurdle to jump over, but once you start introducing yourself, it will almost become second nature to initiate every conversation with “Hi, I’m Dave and I’ve just started in Marketing.” It will probably get a bit awkward when you introduce yourself to Anna from Sales 14 times, but just laugh it off, it’s your first week after all (though you might want to consider an eye test too).
2. Find yourself a veteran colleague to cling to
Well, don’t take ‘cling to’ literally. Seeing as you’ve already introduced yourself to everyone in sight, including the CEO’s dog, there should have been someone that stood out as ‘your sort of person’. Find this person in the corridor, co-ordinate lunch breaks with them, or just make them a cup of tea… then turn on your charm. It helps if they have been at the company since the dawn of time, as you’ll be able to fire any potentially embarrassing questions at them, or they can act as your personal inventory of names.
3. Accept every invitation
Ensure your weekday schedule is clear so that you can jump on any chance you receive to socialise with your new colleagues. In case you were wondering, you don’t need to play hard to get during your first week; your co-workers won’t know you well enough to actually want your company. So give them a reason to by heading to the local for a few Friday evening drinks.
4. Express the qualities that your employers liked initially
What was it that they loved about you in your interview? Be it your experience, your insight, your background or even your sense of humour, make sure you show off these qualities from the get-go. Your employers will soon realise that they made the right decision hiring you, and that you aren’t ‘all-talk, no action’.
5. Make lots of drinks
It may sound demeaning, but having good drinks-making skills will see you get noticed instantly. Jot down a few notes on how the colleagues you wish to impress take their drinks. Learn where all the ingredients are, and soak up your co-workers’ habits: which fridge to use, what is communal, where the petty cash is kept.
6. Get to know your boss
And not just through email, go and introduce yourself. Small talk is still valuable, so ask how their weekend was, offer them a drink and generally fight against every shy fibre in your body because you need and want to make a good impression.
7. Document your achievements
Don’t be ashamed to toot your own flute; be a ‘nerd’ and write down everything you achieve and any praise you receive. A list like this will help with performance reviews, and if you’re having a bad day, just take a look at your ‘brag sheet’ and remind yourself of how hard you’ve worked.
8. Update your social media accounts
Adjust your Facebook, Twitter and Linked In profiles to include your new job, and while you’re at it, follow the company too — this shows how enthused you are about your newly acquired role, and it will keep the social media team happy. But be careful. Identifying with your new job could incriminate you and your new company if anything risqué appears under your online persona.
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