Eight ways to make a great first impression at work

You’ve sailed through your interview, and the job is yours. But, as your start date approaches, how can you be sure of making the right mark? Sarah Patten investigates.

What’s the trick to making a good first impression in your new job? How do you make an impact without coming across as overpowering, or arrogant? With the help of our guide, you'll be making the right sort of name for yourself right from the word go. 

1. Be personable
Whatever your level in the work hierarchy, friendliness is the first step to making a good impact.

Take an interest in your colleagues: learn their names, ask them questions, and try to remember some facts about each of them. Show your appreciation to those who help you learn the ropes, and smile at people you don’t yet know. And, last but not least, bring in some cookies to share with your team. It’s a small gesture, but one that goes a long way.


2. Use your initiative
There’s a lot to be said for showing initiative at work. It demonstrates that you’re proactive, confident, and able to work independently. What is more, it can bring noticeable benefits to your co-workers and your employer.

“If you see that a colleague is snowed under with work, offer to help them out,” suggests Victoria Griffiths, Business Manager at Just Recruitment Group Ltd. “If you face an obstacle, find a solution. And if you run out of work, ask for more – or, even better, try to anticipate the tasks that need doing.”

While it’s important not to criticise everything your new employer holds dear, consider making suggestions for improvement. Have confidence in your ideas, and don’t be afraid to speak up about them.


3. Show leadership, where appropriate
If you’re a manager, you need to make an immediate impression on your team.

As Victoria Griffiths points out, “That doesn’t mean throwing your weight around, as this will only serve to put people’s backs up. Rather, it involves listening to your colleagues, and encouraging dialogue. It means pitching in, giving praise where it’s due, and taking responsibility. And, most importantly, you should lead by example. In this way, you’ll earn you the respect of your team and your bosses alike.”


4. Be prepared to muck in
Whether you’re a receptionist, a manager or the CEO, make an effort to do your bit for the team.

That means making cups of tea, emptying the dishwasher, and refilling the photocopier paper. Your co-workers will respect you for it, and be more likely to reciprocate.


5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
When you start a new job, there will inevitably be a lot to learn. This means that you’re likely to have a lot of questions.

While you don’t want to come across as being needy, it is far preferable to seek guidance than to do something wrong. “Here, the key is to be judicious in your question-asking,” says Bridie James, who is also a Business Manager at Just Recruitment. “Don’t bombard your colleagues with questions, but do be prepared to seek help when it’s really needed.”

“Crucially, you should always remember the answers you’re given, and take notes if necessary. To ask the same question more than once is bad form – it reflects badly on your listening skills, and your level of interest.”


6. Be punctual
Always turn up to work on time, and be prepared to work beyond your contracted hours.

These days, very few 9-5 jobs involve working the hours of 9-5. In this respect, be guided by your colleagues: if they work until 6pm or later, be prepared to do follow suit. This will demonstrate your commitment to the job, and willingness to do your fair share of the work.


7. Avoid office gossip
Every office has its politics, which can be all too easy to get drawn into. As hard as it may be, try to avoid getting involved in this – particularly in the first few months of your job.

It’s far better to keep your slate clean, concentrate on your work, and demonstrate your professionalism.


8. Be positive
In your new job, you are likely to encounter different attitudes and new working practices. Rather than dwelling on what you’re used to, embrace these changes, and be prepared to adapt. Not only will this endear you to your co-workers. It will also contribute to your own personal development.

“If you take a positive attitude to your work, this can only reflect well on you,” says Ms. James. “What is more, enthusiasm is infectious – making for a far more pleasant working environment.”


 © 2018 Just Recruitment Group Ltd. 

Posted on Friday Jan 6