How to make a good first impression on your new boss

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When starting a new job or internship, you’ll meet all sorts of people whom you may or may not get along with, but there’s one who will be the most important: your new boss.

Introductions are key, although odds are your boss will know that most people are pretty nervous on that first day.  Your new boss may or may not be the person who interviewed you, but if they were, it’s a huge plus to not have to worry about introductions while trying to adjust to a completely new environment.

If they weren’t the person who interviewed you, there are a few basic guidelines you should follow, such as dressing appropriately for the work environment and showing up with a positive attitude, ready to learn the ropes.

Upon starting his job, recent grad Daniel Madureira says he found that in spite of whatever pressure he was under during his first few months, there was still a short window of time where expectations were lower as his boss waited for him to adjust to his new position.

“Sometimes, you might jump into a conversation when you’re not welcomed, just because you think you have a solution.”  Though it seems like a slight blunder, Madureira says making the effort to distinguish himself early on has had long-term benefits on his boss’ perception of him.

During those weeks or months, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Your co-workers were all new once too and they’ll be able to sympathize with your situation.  However, if you really want to stand out and get some positive attention, you shouldn’t be afraid to take the initiative.  The sooner you establish yourself as an employee with fresh ideas and know-how to implement them, the sooner the boss will trust with you with more meaningful work.

The most successful new hires take advantage of their status as the new person and try to make a splash in the work environment.  Bosses are almost always more impressed with someone who tries to contribute, even if they may be wrong.  And, of course, being newly hired means you’ve got a lot more leeway to make those mistakes, giving you quite a bit of room to learn the ropes while establishing yourself as someone who truly cares about what they do and is willing to put forth some ideas of their own.

There’s always the worry about balance, and being new might mean taking a day or two to settle in, but eventually you’re going to want to be someone the boss notices, and not someone who just blends into the background.  Remember, you were hired as someone who is expected to be a valuable addition of the team who can make a positive difference, not just someone to fill a seat!

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About the author

José Gonzalez is currently studying English and psychology at the University of Toronto. He's tried his hand at a wide variety of jobs, from pizza maker to autism therapist, but so far he hasn't figured out his exact niche. He figures as long as he's making a positive difference in someone's life, whichever path he goes down is a good one.