I will be entering the workforce in just a few weeks and thanks to your etiquette session, feel better prepared for this new chapter in my life. My primary objective is to make a positive impression. I want to display a team-oriented attitude and keen eye for detail. Other than the basics (being punctual, conscientious and pulled together), what should my first two weeks on the job look like?
It sounds like you have a solid grasp on several important attributes of a valued professional. As you set out to make a name for yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Do not wait for someone to make a formal introduction. By extending your hand for a confident handshake, you are setting the tone and leaving behind a positive first impression. Circle back around to learn each person’s name and what role they play at the company. By now you may have been introduced to several people in your department but do not hesitate to wander outside of your area and get to know others you do not work with on a regular basis.
Commit to staying organized and keeping your word. One of the most powerful ways to stand out is to do what you said you would do in a timely manner. This sounds remarkably simple, but the results are profound. Delivering on your promises takes more than good intentions. You will need to implement safeguards to keep you on track. Whether you prefer the Getting Things Done method, The Pomodoro Technique, or a combination of productivity apps and pen and paper, find what works for you and remain disciplined.
Be inquisitive. A sign of a motivated employee is someone who shows interest in every aspect of their new role. Take notes, ask for clarification and analyze how your skill set and experience can help to further improve the existing routine. Often a new employee will feel hesitant to speak up for fear they will look inexperienced. On the contrary, training is the time to be sure you are well informed and properly educated. A good employee will continue to ask questions long after the training period is over. Take the time to get completely comfortable with your new position and to improve what is already in existence now.
It may require more than the first two weeks to get a feel for the corporate climate. Walk in with a smile every day and leave with the same attitude. Time and consistency will be the determining factor to your professional reputation.