Successfully navigating the interview process isn’t enough, especially in today’s business environment. Over 25% of new employees will lose their job in the first year. However, the employees who make a great impression in their first days and weeks not only keep their jobs, they lay the groundwork for advancement in the company. The following 12 tips will help put you on the fast track for advancement.
1. Call or Email Before You Arrive — Ask your new boss if there’s anything you should review before you arrive at work. He or she will be impressed, and you’ll be better prepared.
2. Do Your Homework — Bosses are busy and appreciate if you take your orientation into your own hands as much as possible. Spend time on the company Website and read any print literature you can find.
3. Remember Names — By remembering names you show your boss that your new coworkers and clients are important to you.
4. Write a Thank-You Note — If you’ve just landed a new job, you’re excited about the opportunity and eager to contribute at your new company. As soon as you’re hired, write your new boss a thank-you note that says just that.
5. Listen, Listen, Listen — Being a good listener may be the most powerful tool in any relationship, including your relationship with a new employer.
6. Arrive Early — Arriving early shows your employer that you’re reliable and aim to do more than the minimum required. It also gives you a chance to organize your workspace and figure out the office layout.
7. Be positive — We all know how energy-sapping it is to deal with a negative coworker. But remember that positive energy is contagious too. As a new arrival you have a great opportunity to bring fresh energy and excitement to your projects and interactions. Your boss will notice.
8. Take Notes — During your first weeks you’ll have a lot to remember and keeping notes will help. Include things like job assignments, codes to copiers, and names.
9. Ask the Right Questions — Try to get mundane information from coworkers or company materials. Your boss will be impressed if you ask about clients or goals, but less impressed if you ask how the coffee machine works.
10. Dress to Impress — Dress a notch or two above the minimum required. Dry-clean your clothes and cut or style your hair. First impressions are lasting impressions, and the first thing your new boss will notice is your appearance.
11. Dress Conservatively — For men, leave the indie-rock skinny ties on the hanger and the crocodile-skin boots in the closet. For women, follow Coco Chanel’s advice to put on your jewelry and then take one item off. You want to overwhelm your employer with your abilities, not your personal style.
12. Make Friends — Employers hate having to deal with conflicts between their employees. Show that you’re a team player by taking a personal interest in your new coworkers. Don’t be afraid to confide in them if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. It may seem counterintuitive to show any weakness, but if your coworkers see you as a friend in need they’ll be much more likely to help you settle in.
Your Future Begins Now
Putting in extra effort during your first days and weeks is an investment in your career. If your employer sees that you’re a competent, motivated team player, your job security will be secured and your path to advancement will be smooth.