You nailed the job interview for the position that seemed totally out of your reach, or maybe you even managed to snag a job that’s in a new state entirely. Now that you have your dream gig and your first day is marked in your day planner, you want to impress your new boss and let her know that you’re in it for the long haul. First impressions at a new job are everything. We chatted with Sharon Schweitzer, an international business etiquette expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, and got her best tips for making your first week on the job as phenomenal as possible.
1. Play by the rules. Schweitzer recommends following the 80/20 rule during your very first week. “Listen 80 percent of the time and ask questions 20 percent of the time,” she says. Following these basic guidelines will help you learn and absorb crucial points about your new workplace. “Remember that as a newly hired employee, you have a lot to learn. Ask questions and be ready to receive constructive criticism. Above all, don’t take anything personally,” Schweitzer says.
2. Show your skills. During your job interview, you had an opportunity to discuss the skills that made you the perfect candidate for the job. When you’re finally in the office, demonstrate those skills and show that you intend to bring those set of specific qualifications into your job 100 percent.
3. Be gracious and humble. Schweitzer suggests sending simple handwritten thank-you notes on personal stationery to anyone who helped you land your job — a recruiter, campus career advisor, and your references. You might consider writing a thank-you note to your new boss or HR personnel if you think that it’s culturally appropriate at your new job. “Respond to all critiques with a gracious ‘thank you,'” Schweitzer says.
4. Be patient. Your first few days at work might leave you wondering if you should get lunch with coworkers or wait for an invitation. Depending on your company’s culture, your colleagues might take the initiative and ask you, but don’t freak out if the invite doesn’t come right away. If you’re an introvert, you may inadvertently discourage the lunch invite. “If you’re giving off silent signals that you’d rather be alone, the lunch invitation may not come as soon as you’d like,” Schweitzer says.
5. Get cultured. Before your first week at a new job, research everything you can about your new workplace. Read over social media postings, websites, annual reports, and printed material. Scope out your team’s LinkedIn profiles or your supervisor’s biography. “You want to gain as much insight as possible into how to be a good employee and team player before you step your foot into the office,” Schweitzer says.
6. Arrive early. Being on time is vital during your first week, and arriving early on your first day will help ease any nervousness you might have. The extra time will allow you to get acquainted with your new place of employment, feel comfortable, and give everyone a good first impression of you. “Arriving a few minutes early sends a clear message that you are motivated and ready to work,” Schweitzer says.
7. Get your wardrobe ready. Sure, you might have your first-day outfit already picked out, but Schweitzer suggests pulling your wardrobe together for the entire first week in advance. That way, you can polish and repair shoes, hem or repair any potential clothing, iron any wrinkles, and have pieces dry cleaned and ready to go. “Prepare your first-day outfit based on company culture and the job you seek, not the position you were hired to fill,” Schweitzer says.
What tricks help you deal with your first week at a new gig? Spill your office secrets with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)