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How to Give a Good Impression Before Starting on a New Job

by Ralph Heibutzki, studioD

The first few weeks at any new job can be stressful because you're under scrutiny and must adapt to a new position and work environment. The solution lies in preparation, which means learning everything about a company's business philosophy, dress code and operations before you start there. Your strongest allies will be your new co-workers, who have faced similar issues and can give you valuable advice. Getting to know them before you start work can help you hit the ground running when you begin your new job.

Check Your Appearance

The definition of "professional dress" depends on the company that hires you. It's a good idea to find what employees normally wear before starting your new job. This way, you won't embarrass yourself by wearing formal dress in a casual environment, or vice versa.

Complete Paperwork

One of the most time-consuming parts of any new job is filling out paperwork such as direct deposit, health insurance and tax withholding documents. Contact the human resources department before you start your job to see if you can take care of paperwork ahead of time. This will simplify the process and allow you to spend more time focusing on your work when you begin your job. When you're dropping off paperwork, this is also the time to pick up employee handbooks, organizational charts and other relevant orientation materials.

Meet Your Teammates

There's natural curiosity in any office about an incoming employee. Requesting coffee or lunch meetings with a couple of your new co-workers is an ideal way to break the ice before starting your job. Sharing ideas in an informal setting will help you build relationships early on. A quick series of e-mail or phone exchanges is a useful alternative if your schedule doesn't allow one-on-one meetings.

Research the Company

Spend some time before you begin your job doing additional research on the company, its culture, growth strategy and market. When you meet new colleagues, have them brief you about upcoming projects. Learn what your boss values the most. This kind of preparation will help smooth your transition in your first days and weeks on the job.

Update Your Network

There are always loose ends to tie up before starting your new position, whether you're changing jobs or re-entering the workforce after a prolonged layoff. Either way, everyone in your professional network should know of your new status. Send emails to all relevant parties such as former associates and clients as well as thank-you notes to recruiters and others who helped you land the job.

About the Author

Ralph Heibutzki's articles have appeared in the "All Music Guide," "Goldmine," "Guitar Player" and "Vintage Guitar." He is also the author of "Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton," and holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.

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