Updated: Jul 3, 2019
Make a good first impression at your new workplace with a first-quarter plan to excel
Starting a new job is an experience that is fraught with emotions; pride at having been selected, hope that the new role is a good fit for both the company and your life, and some anxiety around adapting to your work and the environment. It can take you right back to the vulnerable feeling of being a kid on the first day of a school full of strangers – eager to do well and gain acceptance, but uncertain about exactly how to accomplish that.
The old adage about the importance of first impressions is true, particularly at work. Prepare yourself for a successful start at your new job by making a plan that shows off your personal and professional abilities and builds a solid foundation toward ongoing success.
Getting the right start
Work is a huge part of our lives and a significant contributor to our overall sense of well-being; it’s only natural to feel nervous about such a significant change. Put your best foot forward by taking the following steps in the first 90 days of your new job:
1. Confidence: Let’s face it – if you felt confident, you wouldn’t need much advice about your new start, would you? An interesting thing about confidence is that a lot of people are faking it. Confidence is developed as your feelings of self-worth are validated through a series of small and ongoing successes that you recognize as such. Until you accomplish that at your new workplace, adopt the mannerisms of confident people around you: good posture, eye contact, a firm handshake, a willingness to contribute ideas, and an eagerness to take on new responsibilities.
Recognize that you were chosen for this position, and feel good about that.
2. Relationships: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Connections with coworkers are important. Not only will it make your day to day experience easier, but it will also provide you with opportunities to learn more about your job and the inner workings of your company’s culture. Developing friendships at work also contributes to your long-term success.
Spend the time and effort involved with seeking out new friendships and fostering those relationships – it’s a worthwhile investment.
3. Knowledge: You have more to learn than just your work tasks and social surroundings. Familiarize yourself with your company’s benefits and culture. Find out if your organization offers more than your run-of-the-mill insurance-related benefits, such as company wellness plans, corporate discounts that will complement your goals of achieving a better work/life balance, or internal programs, workshops, or discounts on conferences or classes that can help advance your career knowledge.
Get to know your human resources department and company procedures for better insights on how the company works and what aspects of that may benefit your life and career development.
4. Etiquette: This one seems obvious, and it is at first. Don’t let your guard down as you get comfortable in your new surroundings, though. Structure your mornings to allow for unexpected delays so that you’re not late, lay out your clothing the evening before to make sure it is clean and neat, listen before speaking so that your responses seem well-crafted and considerate, and communicate professionally at all times.
Your behavior is one of the few things you have complete control over, so be calculated and considerate in your appearance, communications, and actions.
5. Diligence: In these first 90 days, work/life balance is less of a priority than work. Accept that dinner may be convenience food and laundry may pile up on the weekdays. Spend this critical start time working harder than expected. Volunteer for new projects, seek out a mentor who can help you master skills, and focus on getting comfortable and familiar with tasks that don’t align with your strengths or what you enjoy doing.
Upper management will be evaluating your enthusiasm and ability a lot during the first quarter – make a strong impression by proving that you were a good investment.
Chances are, the start of your new job will go fine. However, you can ensure that it goes better than fine. Be conscientious in your efforts to stand out positively, cultivate a sense of confidence, and work hard toward proving your compatibility and worth. These small steps can lead to a long and successful professional journey.
If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.