First impressions last.
That’s why it is so important to make an impact the moment you arrive at your new job. It’s not about making a grand entrance; it’s simply about distinguishing yourself. The connections you create, the relationships you build and the impressions you deliver during that crucial first week can endure long after the honeymoon period is over.
So how do you start with a bang and convey your authentic personal brand from the moment you arrive? Here are 4 sure-fire ways to get noticed and make your mark.
1. Arrive Prepared
First impressions start long before you get your badge or attend onboarding.
Do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the company and organization. Google the people you will be working with. When you accept a job offer, ask your manager what she/he thinks you should do to prepare.
Express gratitude. Thank all the people you met during interviews, letting them know that you have joined the team and that you appreciate their support, guidance and confidence in you. Let them know when you will be arriving and schedule brief meetings with key stakeholders.
Stay connected. Although all your thoughts may be focused on your new role, it’s important to stay connected with people from your previous role. Reach out to them to keep them in your network and do what’s necessary to mend fences.
Energize. No matter how amazing your new role is, you’ll need to invest a lot of time and energy to perform well and succeed. Prepare physically and mentally for the challenge.
Know your boundaries. Take time to learn where your role overlaps with your colleagues’ and what the hierarchies are so that you can lend a hand without stepping on anyone’s toes.
Set goals. Establish SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to the organization, and time-bound) for your first three months on the job.
2. Make Friends
Business is about relationships. So it’s important to be friendly from the start; forming and building a network is essential your success.
Be gregarious. Even if you’re more comfortable hanging in the background, step out of your comfort zone – especially in those first critical days and weeks. Work to get to know as many people as you can. Get in the habit of introducing yourself in a compelling way that is memorable for all the right reasons.
Eat lunch. Well, of course you are going to eat lunch. Make an effort to lunch with colleagues and others in the organization. If your company has a cafeteria, eat there. Eating at your desk may seem efficient, but networking in the cafeteria is a better use of your time. Offer to take your new assistant or people who interviewed you out to lunch.
Make a best friend. In a study of employee engagement, Gallup learned that close friendships at work increase employee satisfaction by 50% and that people with a “best friend” at work are up to seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.
Connect on LinkedIn. Connect with the people you meet in your organization through LinkedIn. (Yes, it’s not just for connecting outside the organization; it should also be one of your intranets.) This has three positive personal branding effects. First, when they accept your connection request, they are likely to check out your profile (which should be stellar and up-to-date from your recent job search!) and they will have the opportunity to learn more about you. Second, you get in the habit of adding people regularly to your LinkedIn network. Third, you show your colleagues you are social media savvy.
3. Demonstrate Value
Visibility will only go so far if it is not backed up with contributions.
Deliver on your promise. Know your brand – what’s authentic to you, differentiating your from your peers and making you compelling to decision makers – and integrate it into everything you do from Day 1.
Prove yourself early. Look for opportunities where you can shine to build confidence in your abilities from the start. Seek out early successes. Look for those easy wins – and act on them without being asked.
Get involved. Every company has projects, causes, and organizations that are helpful beyond your regular work. Find that ones that inspire you and give you the opportunity to demonstrate value. Even if you decide to put it off until after you have a good handle on your role, begin investigating the options for delivering value outside your organization when you arrive.
4. Put your mark on it.
Acknowledge others. People want to be recognized for the value they deliver. As the newbie, you have more objectivity than your colleagues and can more easily see the contributions your colleagues are making. By expressing praise and admiration for the great work you see in others, you’ll show your team – and others in the organization – that you are a team player who has leader potential.
Personalize your space. Some companies have very strict policies on what you can and can’t do to your office, cubicle or open-plan desk – so you may not be able to paint your office pink. But there are always ways to tell people who you are through your environment. Identify the items that will showcase your strengths, passions and values and find creative ways to surround yourself with them.
Find your voice. Instead of trying to imitate the communication style of those around you, inject your own unique voice into every email, report, and roundtable discussion. Whether you want to be known as the one who is always refreshingly concise or the one who always cites new research, develop a “voice” that is easily recognizable.
As with most things, your initial actions when you’re starting a new job will establish the direction for your success. Be thoughtful and deliberate and you’re guaranteed to start with a bang.
By William Arruda
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