Strategies & Tactics

How to Make a Good First Impression in a New Job

October 2, 2018

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While the promise of fresh responsibilities and a new work environment can be exciting, the first week at a job is often full of stressful moments. There are names to learn and office protocols to internalize. It can sometimes feel like beginning high school right in the middle of a busy semester.

However, challenges aside, the start of a new job also means a clean slate.

“You have this amazing opportunity to start over — to build strong relationships and set your new career in the right direction,” writes Alyse Kalish, in a blog post for Fast Company. “Don’t just enter your new office prepared to do the bare minimum or the same old routine you did before.”

For Kalish, “starting over” centers around making a good first impression with your boss. “[You should ask] a lot of questions as soon as you get started,” she writes. “You may think it makes you sound annoying or stupid, but it’s actually a great way to quickly understand the inner workings of your new company and also get on your boss’s good side.”

These question topics may range from internal communications and networking strategies to goals for the first month on the job, but they don’t all have to be about business. Kalish recommends that workers, new and otherwise, regularly keep up with how their employers are doing in their everyday lives, too.

“Your boss is probably very busy, very stressed, or in some instances feels ignored or underappreciated, so making them feel noticed is an instant plus for you,” she writes. “And it gives them a chance to open up. This could lead to more transparency and even more opportunity for you to get involved.”

Here are five questions to ask your boss in the first few days on the job if you want to get ahead:

  1. “How are you doing?”
  2. “What can I take off your plate?”
  3. “Who should I network with in my first month?”
  4. “What are your goals for me in the next month?”
  5. “How do you and your team prefer to communicate?”

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