Making a second first impression at a new job

by

When starting a new job, whether it’s permanent or just temporary, we all certainly have something to prove.

When it comes to making an impression, I always think about the common expressions, “The first impression is the best impression,” or “It’s the only impression that matters.” But is this actually true?

To some extent, yes, since the impression we make during the interview process plays an overwhelming role in our being hired. In that particular situation, the power of the first impression is irrefutable but, over time, it fades.

That impression evolves into the quality of work we produce, the commitment we make to our job and the enthusiasm we demonstrate. So, how can you ensure the evolution is a success at your new job?

angel
If you make a concerted effort to learn and contribute and communicate, you are bound to make a lasting impression, perhaps even better than your first.

Commitment

Clearly showing your commitment to the organization and your superiors can be tantamount to landing the equivalent of a million-dollar account (or a challenging, rewarding project for anyone not in sales) for any new hire. It’s important to show you’re excited about your new job and willing to “get your hands dirty” – new hires are often assigned ‘grunt work.’

EggTalentEgg Tip: If you are doing grunt work, look and ask for opportunities to branch out into other areas which are more challenging and can take advantage of your skill set. This is called showing initiative .

Ask Questions

This is a personal favourite. I love asking questions, but for some there is an underlying fear of appearing dumb or incapable. As long as you ask questions intelligently, this fear is unwarranted. Ultimately, if you don’t ask questions, 99% of the time no one will be giving you any answers.

Open Communication

A direct offshoot of the previous point (and My Personal Favourite Part 2). Asking questions is only one aspect of fostering open communication between yourself and your colleagues and supervisors. Initially, it’s perfectly normal (and recommended) to test the waters and discover what is acceptable in your given situation. Once you have gained that understanding, become a proponent for developing open communication lines when discussing work.

Maybe this means daily or weekly recaps of your projects in person or via email to stay on track, or letting your superiors know when you’ve completed important stages.

Punctuality

Not only does this refer to being at work on time but also meeting deadlines, being responsive and not taking time for granted. Being efficient, not sloppy, can impress your boss and reinforce your commitment and work ethic.

Learn your Environment

The most important of these five points. At every new job, there is always a period of assimilation. It may carry a negative connotation, but the reality is you must find a way to understand your environment and determine how you fit in:

  • How do people communicate?
  • Alternatively, how do they socialize?
  • What is the definition of the employer-employee relationship?
  • How do rules flow? Top down? Reverse? Or other?
  • What does this organization value from its employees?

Be aware of your surroundings and the culture that exists within it, which can often appear hidden to newcomers. If you make a concerted effort to learn and contribute and communicate, you are bound to make a lasting impression, perhaps even better than your first.

And remember, during this Adjustment Period when you learn and grow as a new employee, a lot of the onus and expectations will be placed on you to perform, but it is just as important for your employer to make an effort and for you to realize the best working environments are often built upon mutual working relationships.

Share
About the author

Simren Deogun recently graduated with high distinction from the management and English programs at the University of Toronto with a CGPA of 3.6. Her career goals include establishing herself within the field of marketing and communications, and engaging in writing or literature-related ventures in her free time. She enjoys dabbling in graphic design and is always finding new ways to enhance her skill set. She also developed and runs her own marketing blog.