Start Your First Week Of A New Job Like A Boss

You accepted a job offer, started a new position, and want to shine. People formulate opinions within the first few moments of meeting and speaking with you. Right from the start, you want to shape the perceptions of how your managers, executives and coworkers think of you.

The goal is to come across as a smart, motivated, driven team player who can get the job done. It’s also critical to position yourself as a fast-track star, while also being humble and respectful to others. Here’s how you can accomplish it.

The First Thing You Need To Do

On your first day in the new job, ask for a meeting with your immediate manager. Depending upon the workflow, the request could be for an in-person or virtual conversation.

Start the talk by thanking her for giving you the opportunity to work here. Restate all the reasons why you wanted the role and why your skills are a perfect fit. Make it clear that you are a team player and want to help out any way you can.

Inquire about the exact details and responsibilities of the role. She may say that it was already discussed in the interview process. Don’t let that derail you. Politely reply, “Yes, we did talk about the tasks and responsibilities, and it was extremely helpful. The way you described the role was one of the many reasons why I decided to choose this job over the other offers I received.”

You’ve accomplished a couple of things with this statement. Not only did you show respect and courtesy, but also subtly reminded her that you had other offers, are in high demand, and this means you could be recruited away or easily find another job.

It may come across as Machiavellian, however, it lays the groundwork that you have leverage due to your in-demand skills and the hot job market. The manager will keep in mind that you possess options, and she doesn’t want to lose you to a competitor. The thought of beginning a search for a replacement, taking three to six months, without a guarantee that she’ll find a suitable replacement at a reasonable salary, is not attractive. The supervisor intuitively gets the message that she needs you, and she has to keep you happy.

Follow-up by saying, “I’m sure you agree, it makes sense, after several months since we last spoke, to regroup over the daily responsibilities so we are both on the same page and there are little or no misunderstandings. Also, as things have been changing so swiftly in this new economy, there may have been new developments that you’d like me to be aware of.”

Too often the job turns out differently than what was advertised, leading to bad feelings of being misled or oversold. If there has been any confusion or lack of clarity, now is the time to talk things through. Hopefully, everything is copacetic. Thank her for her time, and let her know that she can reach out anytime she needs your help. This lays the groundwork showing you as a smart, polite, thorough, fast-track professional.

Start Meeting People

You want to get noticed and start cultivating a network of alliances. Just like you had an elevator pitch for your interviews, have something prepared to say to everyone you meet. An elevator pitch, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a quick 30-second or so explanation of who you are, what you did at your previous job, and the role you’ve been hired for. Include that you’d be happy to help the person in any way you can.

Then, switch the script, and ask the coworker about what they do at the company and how he likes it here. People love talking about themselves and you’ll find out a lot about the person and the firm. The more folks you interact with, the better equipped you’ll be to understand the corporate culture, politics and office place gossip.

If you go into an office, act polite and courteous to all the workers you encounter. Instead of being annoyed by the security guard asking for identification, ask him about the weather, results of last night’s big game or his take on a trending topic that everyone’s talking about.

When you see the receptionist when you walk into the office, treat him with kindness and respect. Find something to compliment him about, and ask his opinion of him on the local neighborhood and the best restaurants within walking distance. The goal is to ingratiate yourself with the people who you see every day, and because of your politeness, they’ll serve as strong advocates, telling everyone how the ‘new guy’ is really great.

Have A Positive Winning Attitude

Arrive at the office or on a video call with an upbeat positive attitude. Smile, be happy, even if it needs to be forced at times. Position yourself as a helpful team player. This doesn’t mean being obsequious, currying favor with the boss—just act nice and kind, treating everyone with dignity and respect.

Lead by example with a strong work ethic. Go above and beyond what the job description calls for. Part of your role is to make the boss look good. Find out what her agenda is from her, and help her achieve her goals from her.

Never spread rumors or talk badly behind someone’s back. You don’t have to be a ‘yes man’ but it’s admirable to be loyal to your manager, teammates and subordinates. You don’t always have to agree, but be polite in the manner in which you argue another side that conflicts with leadership’s view of things.

Add energy and passion to everything that you do. When things don’t go your way, don’t put out or threaten to quit. Learn from the encounter, and move forward. Take advice, constructive criticism and feedback with grace. It is offered to help you grow and learn. Don’t view it as a personal attack. Consider changing your behavior if there is merit to their suggestions.

Do your homework and always show up prepared. Know when you have a meeting scheduled or project to accomplish. Arrive early for the meeting or video call, it shows interest and you’ll have the opportunity to have some one-on-one conversations with the few people who are also waiting for the meeting to begin. Demonstrate genuine interest by asking questions and participating.

Go the extra mile as you’ll never get anywhere in business by doing the bare minimum. Display manners by smiling and saying ‘hello’ to people, looking colleagues in the eyes, and actively listening to them when they speak. Don’t hit the door close button on the elevator when someone is frantically running to catch it. Offer authentic congratulations when a teammate does a great job, wins a new client or achieves a milestone. Make sure that your tasks and projects are finished before the deadline. If you’re having trouble, ask for help.

Be Prepared For Buyer’s Remorse And Paperwork

When a person makes a big purchase such as buying a home or car, there is a feeling of joy and exhilaration. After a while, the enthusiasm wanes, and you start questioning your decision and become plagued with self-doubts. This happens when it comes to a job too.

After a few days in the new job, you may not feel right. You feel the pressure to excel, make the boss believe that she made the right choice, not knowing who to go to for answers, and familiarize yourself with the unique idiosyncrasies of your new work home.

Allow yourself some time to take it all in and process what is happening. Sometimes you dive into the deep end of the pool and you can swim, other times it’s dipping your toes in the water and slowly acclimating to the temperature. Although the data shows millions of Americans quitting their jobs on a fairly regular basis, don’t throw in the towel too soon. Give it a couple of months before you even think of moving on. If you are unhappy or unsure what to do, seek counsel from your manager, human resources or a nice person that you recently met to share your thoughts.

Doing all the paperwork when you start can be cumbersome. Be proactive by preparing questions for the onboarding human resources representative, especially if you have special needs such as a medical condition that necessitates a doctor who is only on specific insurance carriers. Double-check that the title, salary, benefits, stock options, and 401-k plans are all consistent with what they’ve previously told you. Once you’re comfortable, update your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles to make it official.

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