It’s how you start that determines how you finish. This proverb is often repeated, but how true it is! And the first impression you make on your manager or coworkers may determine how successful your career will be at that company. So how do you make a good first impression at work? Let’s dive in!
Why is it important to make a good first impression at work?
A first impression is how you’re remembered. It can affect how people interact with you in the future and how they respond to your ideas. Making a positive first impression at work sets the foundation for how you’ll be viewed as a colleague.
First impressions are based on several factors: how you look, how you sound, and how you act. Let’s break these down into each category:
How You Look
Your appearance is the first thing people notice about you, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. This means dressing appropriately for the workplace and taking care of your personal hygiene. Keep your hair and nails neat, and avoid using cologne or perfume to respect others’ allergies in the office.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on clothes to make a good impression. Be sure that what you wear is presentable and clean. If in doubt, ask a friend or coworker for their opinion about the dress code and what looks professional.
How You Sound
Your voice is how people will recognize you when others can’t see you – even on the phone! Your voice shows your confidence and how articulate you are.
Project your voice and enunciate your words when you speak. This will make you sound more confident, and people will understand you better. Avoid using slang expressions or language that may be offensive to others. Be aware of cultural and generational differences in communication to avoid misunderstandings with colleagues.
How You Act
Your body language speaks volumes about how you feel and what type of image you project.
Be aware of your posture. Slouching makes you appear lazy and insecure. Make sure that you stand tall, with your shoulders back and your head up. Avoid crossing your arms across your chest, as this will make you look defensive or unapproachable.
Make sure to maintain eye contact with the person you’re speaking to and avoid fidgeting with your hands or clothes. Projecting a positive attitude and being open to others will make you appear likable and trustworthy.
All of these things contribute towards making a positive first impression at work.
What to do on your first day
Now that we covered how to make a good first impression at work let’s talk about what to do on your first day on the job! Here are a few tips:
Do your research in advance
Do some research before starting. Find out as much information as possible about the company and how it operates so that you can hit the ground running on your first day. Research the company’s website, get familiar with its products and services, read about the team, and learn its mission and values.
This information will help you feel more comfortable on your first day and help you make a good first impression at work.
Arrive in advance
Arrive at least 10 minutes early. Arriving in advance is how you make a good impression from the get-go! It shows that you’re punctual and have respect for others’ time. You can also use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the receptionist and get a tour of the office.
Be sure to introduce yourself and show that you’re friendly and approachable. Introduce yourself to your supervisor, coworkers, and anyone else who will be working with you on a regular basis.
This shows that you are eager to meet new people and willing to go the extra mile in starting relationships at work! This small gesture will make you memorable and could lead to future opportunities, too.
Be a good listener
Be willing to listen – not just talk!
This one goes along with being careful about what kind of information you ask for. It’s important that when speaking with others at work, whether an employee or superior, show them that you are listening by nodding, smiling, and asking questions when needed.
Be sure to pay attention when someone is speaking so that you can fully understand what they’re saying, how this connects with your job description, and how it relates to the rest of the team.
Even if things get a little overwhelming, try to stay positive. Avoid complaining or sharing negative opinions with people at work.
When faced with difficult situations or challenges on your first day of work, try to stay positive and show how motivated you are. You’ll learn how to handle these types of challenges as time goes by, but how you respond to them on your first day will make a lasting impression.
Keep your head down, do your job well, and show your enthusiasm – these are all things you can control!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. People want you to succeed and will help you when they can!
Being the new person on your team is an excellent opportunity for growth, so don’t take it for granted. Remember how hard it was in high school being the new kid? It’s that feeling all over again – only this time, you’re older and wiser!
Starting a new job can be challenging, but don’t be intimidated. Ask questions and learn how things operate from your coworkers.
First impressions are not overrated
First impressions are key to how you will progress in your career. In psychology, how people perceive you in the first couple of seconds will largely determine how they think about you for a long time. Making a good first impression at work does not need to be difficult, but it does take some effort.
Think about the first time you met your colleagues. Chances are, they were on their best behavior because you wanted to make a good impression. The same holds when starting a new job.
Your goal should be to show your boss and coworkers that you’re competent, reliable, and professional from the start.
Set yourself up for success
Keep these tips top of mind as you embark upon your next adventure at work. Even if things are going well, always strive to better yourself through continued education and self-improvement.
Setting the tone for positive relationships with your coworkers from the start will help you make a great first impression on your very first day at work!