First impressions are always important, and never more so than on the work-front. The reality is - and will always be - that people make an assumption of you within the first few seconds you meet. This can include everything from the way you dress, to how you speak and your general attitude. At work, the first impression can not only impact short-term perceptions of you - but your long-term reputation and career success. Ourexperts discuss ways to make a positive first impression at work.
While the tips above are all helpful and useful in building the impression you make at work, they serves as a guide to building the everlasting impression you make to those around you in general.
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1. Always maintain a positive attitude. While this may sound simple, on-the-job pressures and stress will sometimes take over your general mood. The impact of a positive attitude is great. You not only combat daily work issues in a more balanced way, but show your manager that you are capable of dealing with difficult situations calmly.
2. Listen carefully. We all want to be heard, but in many instances listening to what others have to say is more important. Be attentive. Make eye contact. Show that you appreciate the opinions of others and can work as part of a team.
3. Watch your manners. This is something your mother probably told you, and she was right. On the job etiquette requires that you monitor your behavior at all times. Do not tell off-color jokes. Do not get into petty arguments. Do not attract undue attention to yourself that is not work-centric. All of these can impact the impression you project.
4. Be mindful of formal and informal office policies. As a newcomer, you will be charged with understanding the general dynamic of your new job. This includes both formal and informal policies. Become familiar with general office procedures. This can include the daily routine of the office to the way in which your co-workers like to maintain their environment. Do they like music on or off? Do they like speaking loudly in the hallways, or is the office very quiet and reserved? Do they like things done a certain way? As a newcomer, it is your responsibility to observe and adapt to your new work environment as much as possible.
5. Get to know your co-workers. Introduce yourself to your team and others. Remember their names. While work is not a social gathering, getting to know the people around you is a good way to make an impression.
You should also be mindful about the associations you make. Being affiliated with the office gossip or troublemaker will not reflect well on you.
6. Watch what you wear. What you wear to work says a lot about you. While you should always maintain your own personal style, there are limits. Follow the dress code as much as possible. If it is a casual office environment, wearing a suit is not necessary. But dressing too casually can work against you too. The general rule is to not dress for the job you have, but the one you want. This should always be your guide.
7. Watch what you say. People not only make assumptions about you based on what you wear, but also what you say. The words you choose are all part of the impression you make. If you use slang or off-color phrases, you are negatively impacting the impression your co-workers have of you. While being completely eloquent at all times is not expected, be sure to use your words carefully. You will be judged.