We’ve all heard the old adage that you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. When you’re starting at a new job, it’s even more vital that the impression be a positive one.
When you set off at a new workplace – whether it’s at a manufacturing plant or a Fortune 500 firm – there are always new names to learn, new processes to understand, new technologies to master and new teams to work with. On top of all the novelty, there is added pressure to impress your boss, forge relationships with coworkers and pass the probationary period. Every workplace is different and job expectations vary from employer to employer, but there are good judgments you can exhibit to ensure you get off on the right foot no matter what your role, including:
- Arrive on time and work full days
- Introduce yourself to everyone you meet
- Have a positive attitude and open body language
- Dress professionally and appropriately for your new position
- Ask questions, take notes and seek training
- Take initiative and prioritize tasks
- Respect company time
- Proofread your emails
- Keep your desk area tidy and observe kitchen etiquette.
Along with the common sense behaviors listed above, there are also steps you can take to not only make a good first impression, but also excel in your new role!
Michael D. Watkins — author of The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter — spoke to Forbes about impressing managers and colleagues during the crucial first 3 months of a new role.
Watkins recommends that you place as much emphasis on building relationships with coworkers and managers as you do focusing on technical job skills. Networking across departments and roles will help you fit into the company culture, find a mentor and connect with people who can help you as you’re learning the ropes. It will also give you a head start on forming lasting and beneficial work relationships.
Some of Watkins’ other important suggestions are:
- Do not brag about your accomplishments at your past company.
- Build trust by delivering on your commitments.
- Consider temporarily rearranging your work-life balance while you prove yourself and gain speed.
- Know your weaknesses and try to strengthen them through training. Offer a skills exchange to someone who can teach you.
- Prioritize the tasks that will let you succeed in the job, not necessarily the ones you like to do the most.
- Work within your boss’s managerial style and expectations – especially in the first 3 months. Communicate honestly and frequently. Ask him or her for advice when needed. If a problem arises, approach your boss early and be prepared with solutions.
- Be flexible and adaptable. Your skills and ways of doing things from your past role may not be what is needed for success in the new position.
- Try and secure “an early win”. Take on a project which you can lead or be heavily involved in. Include and learn from the relevant stakeholders. Try to make demonstrable improvements or success in the project within your first 90 days.
First impressions are essential and can often be lasting. A good impression can lead to a thriving career, whereas bad impressions may unintentionally make your new role harder and keep you from future opportunities. The mindful steps above will help build a good rapport with colleagues and gain respect from mangers as you undoubtedly become more comfortable and confident in your new position.
As an employer, you have a comptroller whether you call them that or not. In fact, what a comptroller is literally called varies from organization to organization. Some say the word phonetically, while others spell “comptroller”, but say “controller”. In many companies, the full title is “financial controller”. Sometimes the CFO doubles as the comptroller. But in all cases, the comptroller is the person overseeing the accounting and financial reporting of your company…Or are they?
Traditionally, the duties of the comptroller included overseeing the day-to-day functioning of the financial department, monitoring accounting practices and cash flow (including accounts payable and accounts receivable, expenditures, budgets, etc.), and managing regular financial reporting. These duties scream routine. However, several economic forces have altered the role of comptroller, making it more demanding – and more in-demand. Read more
Your organization may not be in the oil and gas industry, software development, or aerospace manufacturing, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from hiring people with technical skills and backgrounds. It may be off-putting at first to see someone who spent their university years – or even several years in the workforce – in engineering or information technology applying for a sales or training role. After all, such positions are heavily reliant on communication, relationship-building, negotiation, and other “soft skills” – skills not typically associated with those in the technical fields.
But as we’ve written about before, long gone are the days of the aloof, basement-dwelling tech support pixie. Technical skills are no longer considered enough to be successful in the technical fields, meaning a lot of candidates you come across with engineering or information technology backgrounds have probably had to harden their soft skills over the years. The emergence of soft skills as a cornerstone of success in the technical professions is even being leveraged as a way to attract more women into the STEM sector. But with so much emphasis out there on the transferability of soft skills – with many using the terms “transferable skills” and “soft skills” synonymously – are we losing sight of the broader benefits that technical experience can offer employees and the employers who hire them? Could it be that technical skills lend themselves to certain transferable skills that aren’t so easy to come by in non-technical fields? Read more
The bottom line of underperforming employees: they affect your bottom line. That’s why performance management is such a vital skill for every supervisor to hone. But what exactly is meant by “underperforming employees”? To answer that, it’s important to draw a distinction between an underperforming employee and a difficult employee. Read more
This article originally appeared in Lēad Magazine, Issue 15: The Value of Brand Attraction.
By Peter Andersen, PhD, Economic Forecaster Andersen Economic Research Inc.
New employees bring skills, aptitude and experience to companies, and in exchange, they are offered incentives to come on board. A company’s culture is likely to be a key attraction for new hires. If applicants find that the company’s approach to doing business suits their personal profile, a strong attraction can be created at the outset. This can be reinforced by an outline of potential career growth within the organization. Such incentives are more effective than entry-level salary and benefits.
However, there needs to be a close alignment of expectations and reality for job applicants and employers. For example, not all new employees with high-level technical skills will be a perfect fit for all technology companies. Corporate cultures can be vastly different with different histories, core values, and management styles. The same applies for companies in any industry. Read more
Adecco is Canada’s largest employment agency, staffing both temps and permanent employees. That means that we’re keenly aware of the line many people draw between what they think a temp would do for work versus what a permanent placement would. Typically, people associate temps with clerical, administrative, and labour jobs while permanent placements are more often associated with specialized professional roles, such as roles within sales, marketing, law, or finance. But the line is much blurrier than employers and the general public assume. Read more