10 ways to impress your boss in your first week - Part 1

Thursday 8 May, 2014

10 ways to impress your boss in your first week

Landing a new job is one of the most exhilarating and rewarding feelings you’ll encounter in your life -- especially if it’s a job you’re genuinely excited, or passionate about.

But once the initial excitement wears off, for many people those feelings turn to anxiety as they realise the challenges that lie ahead. It can be a harrowing experience -- stepping into an unfamiliar role, in an unfamiliar office surrounded by unfamiliar workmates. There’s a lot of people to impress, not the least of whom is your new boss.

Here’s 5 ways to make sure you get off on the right foot and make the best possible impression in your first week. We’ll give you another 5 tomorrow.


1. Be early, but leave on time

Getting to work on time is great. But getting to work early will win you massive brownie points. It shows you’re keen, and sends the right message to your new boss. But at the end of the day, the reverse is true. While it can be tempting to stay late to show how committed you are, it can also look like you’re not coping with your workload. Try to leave on time, but remember don’t leave before asking your new colleagues if they need a hand with anything.


2. Show initiative

If you can see a way to contribute, add value or get involved with a project you haven’t been assigned to, you’ll score big-time with your boss. But be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. If you put your hand up for a task, make sure you not only complete it on time, but to a high quality. And, if it means you’ll be working with someone else, be careful not to tread on their toes. You can still show initiative and remain a good team-player.


3. Research

You should already know a fair bit about your new employer, thanks to the preparation you did for your job interview. But now that you’re on the team, it’s time to really get stuck into it. There’s plenty out there if you know where to look and Google is your best friend. Get to know your organisation, its relationships and its stakeholders. Ask to take home some old reports, papers or anything that will help provide better context and background about your employer and its relationships with key stakeholders -- particular if you will be working closely with clients. Your boss will be impressed that you’ve taken such a keen interest and are taking your job so seriously.


4. Ask Questions

You are not expected to know everything about a role in your first week, but you are expected to learn. The best way to learn is by making sure you understand what you are doing, so ask plenty of questions. Be a sponge -- soak everything up. Listen carefully, take notes and ask for clarifications if needed. Really concentrate on what people are saying and if you are unsure of something, speak up -- especially when they are explaining a task to you. Bosses generally don’t mind repeating and explaining things, but they hate when you pretend to understand something because you’re too scared to admit that you don’t.


5. Get well acquainted

Don’t be afraid to leave your desk. While it’s important to make sure you are completing tasks and getting plenty done, it’s equally important to get to know your new team. Have lunch with them, chat with them in the kitchen, ask them questions, and spend time getting to know them. Not only can they provide tips and help you understand the lay of the land better, but your boss will be impressed with how well you’ve integrated. Ultimately your boss wants to see that you fit in well and that there is a good team chemistry -- especially if they were responsible for, or wre in some way involved with your hire.

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