Starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience. Given the lack of knowledge and familiarity, the first instinct you may have is to simply survive. If you are the ambitious type, however, this approach can at best be unproductive and at worst make a bad impression on your boss. Your first day should not be a time of survival but rather one of opportunity, a chance to convince your boss you are someone worthy of paying attention to. Here are 5 ways to impress your boss on your first day:
1. Be an Early and Well-Dressed Bird
The first thing people will notice is what you are wearing and what time you clocked in. Showing up early and dressing professional will set the foundation for how your boss views you going forward. It fosters an impression of loyalty, service, and preparation that can be built upon by your actions in the office. From there you can create a habit of greeting your boss as they enter the office. Eventually you want your boss to conflate the picture of you hard at work with walking into the office, and it starts with the first day.
2. Take Notes
On your first day you will be bombarded with information that no one is expected to remember right away. Yet many still eschew taking notes or writing down pertinent details. Using a notepad or having a whiteboard in your personal workspace shows you are not only serious about doing your job correctly, but humble enough not to presume you have a perfect memory.
3. Study the Whole Business
Part of understanding your role as a new employee is learning where that fits in the big picture. Ask to see other departments, particularly if those areas are not included in the original tour of the office. As you are ferried from department to department, talk to your boss about how each section is interconnected, and how they must all work in concert in order for the business to run smoothly. Having the aptitude to recognize the forest through the trees will show your boss you have the mindset of a manager rather than the myopic view of an employee.
4. Go Beyond the Job Description
Never limit yourself to what your designated responsibilities are. An average worker is satisfied with having completed their duties. An exceptional worker takes the time to volunteer their services to others, or come up with creative ways to improve business operations. While on your first day you will likely be unqualified to offer any meaningful help, simply offering to assist will demonstrate your motivation and willingness to help the business. Just be sure to continue these habits day after day.
5. Ask Questions
Given it is your first day on the job, you may feel the need to wow your employer with your ability to do a job quickly. However, learning how to do a task correctly requires time and focus, and your primary goal should be to listen and ask meaningful questions. Asking questions shows that you are paying attention to what is being taught and eager to learn. Find out what are the most common issues that arise from that particular task. Knowing what has caused previous employees to stumble can help you avoid making the same mistakes. This shows your employer that you are an efficient learner.
Guest Bio: Jamie Richards is a writer for Employers Liability Insurance an online resource for business owners.