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4 Ways to Impress Your New Company

I work for a large organization that hires a lot of people throughout the year. I always make it a point to introduce myself to our new hires on their first day. There are several hiring managers besides me so sometimes it will be the first time I am meeting this person. I pay close attention to these first encounters because it allows me to form an impression of the new hire. For better or worse, this first encounter does make a lasting impact on how I view this individual for the rest of the time they are with the company. First impressions are crucial and will go a long way in ensuring your success with your new job. Below are some of the things you must do if you want to be view positively by people you will be working with.

1. Be on time.

I know this is a simple one and most people will heed this advise. If you are late on your first day, it sends up a red flag because I think you will be habitually late for not only work but meetings. You can’t afford to be late if you’re going to make a good impression on your first day. Punctuality is classy. Being late for meetings is disrespecting your colleagues because you are telling them that you don’t value their time. Unless you have a legitimate reason, there is no excuse to be late on your first day at the job.

2. Dress nice.

How you look on your first day DOES matter. You should never underestimate the importance of dressing professionally on your first day. This is not the day to put on your faded jeans and ripped t-shirt even if you are working at a Silicon Valley start-up. At the same time you don’t want to overdress for the job. For example, if no one at the company wears a suit and you come walking in with a suit, it will be awkward. Wear something that will make you feel professional and confident. During the interview, observe how other people dress. This will give you clues on what the dress code is at the company. If your unique style of dress is beyond the norm of the company culture, I suggest you leave that outfit at home until people get to know you better. In most cases the workplace is not the setting to express your individuality so quickly. Let them initially form an impression of your work rather than your taste in fashion. It is always prudent to play it safe than to be labeled as an outcast on your first day.

3. Be on your best behavior.

Office etiquette is very important. You need to be polite and courteous the entire time in order to make a good first impression. When you are introduced to someone for the first time, smile and give a firm handshake. I can’t tell you how many times I have shaken a new person’s hand that is less than firm and confident. Do make an effort to remember each person’s name. My trick it to jot down on a notebook the person’s name after I am introduced to them. When you remember someone’s name that you have met for the first time, it is viewed favorably. No one expects you to know everyone’s names by the end of the day, but do try. It is the details in life that counts. Smile and relax. Be positive and show them how excited you are to be part of this organization.

4. Ask questions.

Do more listening than talking. Good communications does not necessarily mean speaking all the time. Ask as many questions as you can and take good notes. When you ask good questions, it shows you are paying attention and interested in the job. On your first few days at work you will be bombarded by lots of new information. When I am explaining something and I don’t see the new person taking notes, it sends a red flag that I will have to explain it again sometime in the future. I might even tell them that it is important information and they should take notes.

How to Quit Your Job in a Professional Manner

At my current company we have a very big team. Almost every month someone is quitting to pursue another opportunity or for personal reasons. Sometimes we are forced to let someone go because of their performance. The way you quit a job should always be handled in a professional manner even if you think you will never see these people again. Your first impression and your last impression are how your colleagues and bosses will remember you. No matter what your reason is for quitting your job you need to do so in a polite and professional manner without burning bridges.

1. Give appropriate notice

Depending on your company’s policy the standard is usually two weeks. Two weeks is the bare minimum you should give your employer. As a courtesy to your employer, you should give up to four weeks. This demonstrates that you care about making sure that the transition is smooth. I can tell you that bosses really appreciate this. I understand if you cannot give more than two weeks because the other job wants you to start right away. Again, depending on company policy, you might need to write a resignation letter to hand to your boss.

2. Do not slack off

It is really tempting to just goof off once you give notice. I say you should do the opposite. You should work as hard as you did when you first joined the company. Show your boss and colleagues you have integrity by working hard until the day you leave. This will ensure you leave with a very good reputation as a team player and a conscientious worker. They will be sad to see you go.

3. Be courteous and professional

Your attitude towards your colleagues, subordinates and bosses are very important during the last few weeks at the job. Avoid bragging about your new job. This will only make your colleagues unhappy and resent you. The reality of the business world is that you must leave on good terms no matter what you think of your bosses and colleagues. Know that you have a very short period of time in which to remain here. In today’s world, you need to keep all of your relationships healthy. When you are leaving one job for another, it is especially important that you demonstrate respect for you staff, your co-workers, and your boss in particular.

4. Ensure the transition goes smoothly

Do everything you can to help out the next person who will be taking over your responsibilities. This might require you to put in extra time or devote more effort to help train someone to take over your job. Do your best to complete your projects, tasks and assignments before you leave. Before quitting, prepare an email or document detailing the status of all your unfinished projects and include instructions for completion. Prepare useful notes for your replacement. Be available to answer questions that may arise after you leave.

5. Tie up loose ends

Every time I leave a job, I make sure to tie up any loose ends such as deleting personal stuff from my work computer. Return any company property you have – including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you. Take the time to thank employees who have worked with you. Send personal notes to those who have helped you along the way or have been important to you while there. Don’t forget to say goodbye to your colleagues and let them know how they can reach you in the future.

6. Stay in touch

Unless you never want to see these people again, it is a good idea to stay in touch with your former bosses and colleagues. They might be able to help you in the future if you need to look for another job. If things don’t work out at your new job, you might be able to go back to your old one. Staying in touch is one of the keys of building a strong network.

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