Beginnen in je nieuwe baan

Starting your new job
How to make a great first impression

Whether you’re a graduate, manager or CEO, the first day on the new job is intimidating for everyone. No doubt you want to make the right impression quickly. Here are a few things you can do to make your transition into a new job that much easier.

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Get in touch before you start

There is often a limbo period between being offered a job an your actual start. You may want to keep in touch with your new employer during this time. They may even invite you to the office or for a team drink to meet your future colleagues. If so, make an effort to put in an appearance.

6 steps to successfully start a new job

1. Arrive early and suitably dressed

If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.

Show your eagerness to start on the job by turning up fifteen minutes early. You can greet your colleagues one by one, instead of arriving late and having to introduce yourself to everyone all in one go.

Making yourself you’re wearing the correct attire is also of paramount importance. You should have already clarified with your manager what the dress code is, but if you didn’t then see if you can find out from the company website or from your new colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles.

2. Remember people's names

Map out a seating plan and put people’s names in the various positions. Also make a note of the name of anyone you will have regular contact with such as the receptionist. Greet people by name and use their names when conversing to help embed this information. You will be rapport building at the same time – extra bonus.

A good tactic to help remember names is to repeat their name when they introduce themselves. So the colleague would say, “Hi, I’m Jeroen,” and you would reply “Hi Jeroen, I’m Eva”. 

3. Ask insightful questions

Your manager will be most receptive to your needs during your first few days. But stick to business-related matters; your peers will be able to point out the coffee machine.

4. Listen

In the early stages you should be listening and learning a lot more than you are talking. Make good quality notes to make tasks easier. There will be a lot of important information to learn on your first day, and throughout your on-boarding period, so make sure you’re all ears at all times.

5. Keep focused on what's important

Even though it’s only your first day you should already be thinking about how everything you’re learning now builds into the bigger picture, including various colleagues and your relationships with them.

Keep your job description handy so you can make a mental note of the essential responsibilities and who you’ll be coordinating those with.

6. Don’t try to change the world on your first day

You may be managing people or have been hired to change an existing process or culture. Remember to pay due respect to the people and business by understanding how and why things have been done before you start making major changes.

Give it a chance

If, after your first day, you feel that you may have made a mistake or that you just won’t gel with your new colleagues then don’t panic. It often takes time to settle into a new organisation and many people have initial reservations, which they then quickly overcome.

Just remember that everyone has a ‘first day at the office’. New job jitters are totally natural, as change is often uncomfortable. During this preliminary period give it your best shot by staying positive and working hard. If it still doesn’t feel right after six months only then should you arrange a meeting with your manager – who will hopefully be able to provide some advice on how best to proceed.

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