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You only get one shot at a first impression!

Updated: 01 Mar 2014

Whether you’re a Graduate, Manager or CEO the first day in a new job can be daunting.  No doubt you want to make the right impression quickly, and a new job success strategy will help you do just that.


Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong, shares these seven easy tips to help make a quick and lasting impression on your first day:


1. Personal stock take


A new job is an opportunity to review your habits and personal attributes to keep those that serve you and toss out those that don’t. Take action to break bad habits such as poor time management or punctuality.


2. Memorise people’s names


Sketch a seating plan of your pod and put people’s names in the various positions. Also make a note of the name of anyone you will have regular contact with such as the receptionist. Greet people by name and use their names when conversing to help imbed this information. You will be rapport building at the same time – extra bonus. 


3. Stay focused on what’s important


Keep your job description handy and review it as you are getting up to speed. Reflect on how what you are learning ties to what is expected of you and how you will achieve success. Any new job changes over time but we all need to guard against spending energy on tasks that are irrelevant to achieving our goals.  


4. Ask questions


You are in a learning phase so you are expected to ask questions or for an instruction to be repeated. Your manager has a busy job so don’t expect him/her to remember to tell you everything you need to know. Take responsibility for getting up to speed and making the most of your meetings by asking quality questions about what is expected but also about your manager’s work style and how he/she prefers to be communicated with. This is also a great time to talk to other key people in the business – when appropriate - about the bigger picture as well as what they do and how success is achieved in their areas.


5. Listen, listen, listen


In the early stages you should be listening a lot more than talking. Make good quality notes but check the workplace protocol before taking any hand held device into meetings. An old fashion note pad will also do the job if need be.   


6. Be quick to observe, slow to judge


Don’t make snap judgments about people or situations. In the early part of your job tenure you are best placed to just observe the workplace culture, connections and rituals. 


Steer clear of any politics and walk away from any conversation that sounds like gossip.


7. You are a success


For those that get very nervous about starting a new job, keep your farewell card from your former workplace handy at home to re-read the positive message from people who were once strangers to you too. Remind yourself of past successes and that you were hired because you are the best person for the job and have lots to offer.


You only get one shot at a first impression so make sure yours has positive and lasting effects with these seven tips.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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