Starting a new job is one of life’s most exciting experiences. Whether you’ve just saved yourself from the Titanic, you’re starting over or you’re entering the workforce for the first time, you’ve earned the right to be happy about your new professional journey. But don’t get so caught up in your euphoria that you don’t find your bearings. From day one, make sure you’re making a strong impression.
Your new co-workers will want to know where you came from. Your backstory is one you’ll probably have to tell dozens of times in your first few days. Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae of your last position or get dragged down into a smear campaign against your previous employer. Come up with an easy synopsis that tops out around 30 seconds and hits all the high notes: position name, tenure and what you’ll be doing in your new role.
You’re the new kid on the block. You want to seem confident but not cocky. The fastest way to learn the law of the land is by asking. You’ll likely be assigned to work with a peer that knows the ropes. And you’ll probably have a one-on-one with your new boss. Use these new relationships to learn the basics of your new environment so you’re never left guessing.
By no means should you force yourself to become everyone’s best friend. But in your first few days, you need to meet people, figure out the social landscape and start forming some bonds. This is your new home base, and you’re going to need these relationships at some point.
Getting the job is only half the battle. Now, you have to prove yourself, and it all starts on day one.