When you start a new career opportunity, it’s important to make that first impression count.
However, things don’t always go as smoothly as we would like. Nobody wants to make a bad impression on an employer, but the truth is – we all make mistakes. And that’s OK! Here are a few things to remember to help you move forward from a “bad” first impression:
It might not be that bad
Sometimes we get tongue-tied and say the wrong thing. It lingers in our mind, and we wonder if it lingers in anyone else’s mind. The truth is, whatever the mistake may be, it may not be as obvious as you think. Instead of dwelling on the situation, plan ahead for the future to prevent it from happening again. Work on the overall message you want to convey so that next time, you’ll be able to get your ideas across clearly and confidently. Understand that you tried your best, forgive yourself, and move on.
Acknowledge the situation
If you’re convinced that you’ve made a bad impression and it pains you to let it go, then acknowledge it. Everyone makes genuine mistakes. Offer a sincere apology in-person if possible or a follow-up email if you missed the opportunity. By taking ownership of the situation, you’re demonstrating that you are self-aware, can make objective decisions, and that you value your professional career.
When you start a new position, it can take some time to adapt to the work environment, especially as a recent grad. You will grow a lot professionally during this transitional period but, undoubtedly, you will have a few missteps too. Have patience with yourself. Learn from your errors and ask the necessary questions that will help you develop new skills. As you gain more experience, your confidence and abilities will grow as well.
Don’t change your personality
Always be you! A “bad” first impression doesn’t mean you have to change everything about yourself – continue being passionate and genuine in what you do. However, self-reflection is the key to self-improvement. If you feel that your attitude and approach is consistently coming across negatively to others, think critically about what you could do to address the situation. With time, you’ll find the best version of yourself.