You probably knew that your first impression was pretty important during your job interview, and you probably did well on it because you got the job! However, those first impressions are equally important when starting a new career.
During those first few days and weeks on your new job, your coworkers and boss will form an opinion of you and these opinions usually stay with the employer. For example, if you’re a slacker in the early stages of your career, it’s going to be tough to shake off that label and earn a promotion, even if you are deserving of it. Conversely, if you work well and hard those first few weeks, your coworkers and boss will remember that as well and when available sales positions open up, you will be a shoe-in.
Below are three great tips for starting your new career.
1. Do Your Homework
You probably did a good bit of research on employers when you were filling out applications and interviewing. It’s important to finish your research and understand your new employer before going to work. If you have some time off before starting your new career, use this time for research. Read all the material you can find about your new company including your employee handbook. The goal is two-fold: to understand the company better, and to know what you should expect in the workplace. If you know someone who works for the company, meet them for coffee before you start on your first day – inside information can go far toward a smooth beginning.
2. Dressing Professionally
Presenting a nice, neat appearance will reflect on your work habits and ethics positively. When starting a new career, always take your dress a notch or two above what’s expected. Once the first few weeks are over, you can relax it a little without being perceived as a slovenly worker. If you did your homework in the beginning, you should have a good idea of what your employer’s dress code is. If you’re unsure of how to dress, dress on the safe side more professionally versus not professional enough.
3. Arriving Early, Leaving Late
When you’re the last one arriving at work and the first one to leave, it appears that you don’t really want to be there. This isn’t a good impression to make, especially in the first few weeks of the job. Instead, make plans to arrive early, and don’t rush out the door in the early afternoon. Give the impression that you are ambitious and enthusiastic about your career, and you’ll gain a good reputation of never showing up late to work unless there’s a true emergency. This is valuable for your reputation.
By following these three steps and starting your career on the right foot, you can build solid stepping-stones towards your future career goals.