Just because you make it through the interview process and land a job, it doesn’t mean you’re done proving yourself. The need to make a good impression on your colleagues and bosses continues, and the first week is a crucial time in terms of getting yourself on track for success. You want to seem ambitious yet likable, eager to please but not annoying. How do you balance these things?
In a terrific Business Insider post titled “8 Ways to Impress During Your First Week of a New Job,” Lizzi Hart of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau shares tips for navigating your first five days. Her first suggestion is to “introduce yourself to everyone,” and while this can be scary — and embarrassing, since you’ll probably introduce yourself to some folks multiple times — it’s an essential step.
Once you’ve met everyone, “find yourself a veteran colleague to cling to,” Hart suggests. Obviously, she doesn’t mean this literally. The idea here is to pinpoint someone you like and relate to and feel comfortable going to with the kinds of questions that only seasoned employees can answer. Make them coffee, ask them to lunch, and generally get them in your corner.
Ideally, you won’t be doing all the inviting, and Hart’s next tip, “accept every invitation,” is a critical way to become part of the team. Have a clear enough schedule that you can join everyone for Friday lunch or after-work drinks, and don’t act aloof or play hard to get.
Speaking of drinks, make lots of them. That’s Hart’s next tip, though here, she’s not talking about alcohol. Take note of how your colleagues take their coffee and tea and be sure you’re using the right refrigerators and cartons of milk. Little things like that go a long way.
That last one has to do with being observant and conscientious — traits you probably tried to emphasize in your interview. During that first week, Hart writes, you should “express the qualities that your employers liked initially,” as it will reinforce the idea that you’re a good fit for the position, and that they made a sound hiring choice.
Hart’s sixth tip is to “get to know your boss.” Managers are people, too, and by doing things like making small talk and asking how their weekend went, you’ll score points and foster a more pleasant work environment.
One thing about bosses, though: They care about performance and results. That’s why you should “document your achievements” and keep a running log of any praise you receive or projects you complete. As Hart writes, this list will come in handy during performance reviews, and what’s more, if you ever find yourself feeling down or discouraged, you can simply pull out the achievement log and give yourself a boost by reading about past triumphs.
Lastly, Hart says you should update your social media accounts to reflect the new job and consider following the company on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. By now, it should go without saying that you should avoid posting anything incriminating online, and that you should delete embarrassing photos and make sure your digital footprint is helping you put your best foot forward.