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First Impressions - Day One at your new job

If you are anything like me, you are often surprised to hear how people react to you on first meeting.   And to overcome this, many of us tend to overdo the warmth, humour and trying to fit in, or go the other way, and try to be as unobtrusive as possible.  Neither of them feel natural and neither are sustainable so it is worth spending some time preparing for the first impressions you create on the first day of your new job.

www.accsys.co.zaThe employer also has worries around this; is the induction process effective, will the employee feel they have made the right decision, and will my management believe that I make good decisions around hiring.  So that first day has a lot riding on it.   Too much, in fact!

The first day should be like a second date, confirming understandings and expectations, asking questions that seemed a little too probing at the first meeting, and generally both employer and employee starting to feel comfortable that they have made the right decision.   Of course, in most cases, continued employment is guaranteed for at least a while, so a little different from a second date!   And it is this commitment that should make the process positive and constructive.   Companies should have a formal process, no matter how small they are, so that all the important stuff gets covered, and new employees should be taking as much in as possible.   Use your mobile device for note taking if you are comfortable with that, otherwise have a notebook and pen of your own, on the first day.

Today, you can learn a huge amount about a company on the internet before your first day.   Take the time to do it, as well as researching the people in the company (and remember there is a line between research and stalking).

When you have been hired as a knowledge worker, you have been hired for your ideas and input, and yet if you offer them on the first day, the chances are that they will not be well received.   Spend some time getting to understand the dynamics and culture of the company, before making suggestions.   Listen carefully, because some of your brilliant ideas might already have been tried, and not worked, or been suggested and not implemented.   Whether you are coming in at the top or the bottom, the most successful people have a team working with them for combined success, and the first day can set the scene for a partnership of like minded people working together, or a daily slog to get things done.

 My view is always the first day at work should be like a prize winning ceremony for both, the employee has won the right to work at a great place, that appreciates your input, and the employer has also won by finding the right person to help grow the business and make it a better place to be.

www.accsys.co.za

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