MT EXPERT: How to win at your first week in a new job

Landed a new role? Chris Meredith explains how to impress your new colleagues.

by Chris Meredith
Last Updated: 24 Feb 2016

Starting a new job is stressful – and although you may already be on good terms with the owner and senior management team, other employees will know little or nothing about you and will naturally be on their guard. How can you win them over?

Arrive early

Aim to arrive at the office 10 minutes early to give yourself time to catch up with colleagues and grab a coffee before the working day starts. It also gives you flexibility if you’re running a little late or if the traffic is bad.

On your first day especially, allow yourself plenty of time to get into the office. Make sure you know the route and an alternative if traffic is bad. The last thing you want is to be sitting in rush hour congestion watching the clock tick towards 9am. Likewise, if you’re taking public transport, allow for delays, cancellations and plan an alternative way to get in should you need it.

Think before you speak

You may very quickly be able to identify ways the company can increase productivity, save money, or see areas where they need to recruit and build up a new skill set.  But in the first week, you are not in a position to start telling people how to do their job.

Instead have a discreet word with the relevant person once you’ve had time to consider and evaluate the changes you believe will make a difference.

Ask questions

The first few days in a new role are all about finding out how the company works and where you sit in the pecking order. Asking questions is not a sign that you don’t understand the business, instead it shows that you’re curious to know more and make your appointment count.

Before your first day, spend time thinking of some questions you want to ask, but remember, pay attention to what people are telling you – you don’t want to ask a question they’ve already answered in a previous conversation.

Don’t ignore your colleagues

Although you don’t want to be over friendly on your first day, it is important to get to know your colleagues and befriendly and approachable. You need to come across as someone who is capable and someone colleagues can trust.

Don’t try too hard

You already have the job, so don’t try too hard to impress and don’t over-exaggerate your achievements and capabilities. You’ll impress naturally once you get to know the company and how you fit into it.

It’s also important to remember to be yourself. The first day can be incredibly stressful but do give your colleagues a chance to get to know the real you.

- Chris Meredith is CEO of officebroker.com

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