Starting a new job is going to be something that many IT professionals are going to be doing over the next two years. Either you have been laid off and are going to finally land that new job, or you are going to be changing jobs to get a raise that has been delayed during this terribly bad recession. Some of you are just tired of working harder due to the diminished work force in your current environment.
So, when you start that new job, how do you guarantee that you make a great impression on management? It doesn’t matter whether you are the hardware roll out technician at the receiving center or the CEO, someone is going to be watching your activities in that first three months. The perceptions of your management are going to be set in those first three months on the job.
Here are seven activities that will guarantee that you will make a great first impression.
1. Ask for documentation or job task descriptions prior to your start day. Asking for something to review so that you can hit the ground running on day 1 will make a very positive statement about your willingness to get involved quickly in the company and the job.
2. Arrive at least 30 minutes early on the first day and every day after that for a minimum of three months. If you are on a time clock, don’t punch in early, but start working early. Be at your desk, or at your workstation preparing for the day or beginning the unfinished tasks from the day before. When the time to clock in arrives, do so, but not before. Showing a willingness to do a little more than you are paid for says volumes about you and your commitment to the company. When it is time to clock out for the day, do so. Any tasks that can be completed with fifteen to thirty minutes more work, do it after you have clocked out. If you are not punching a clock, do these same things anyway, and the extra time and effort will be noticed.
3. Never, ever, be underemployed. When you finish a task, go ask for another one. Don’t waste even 15 minutes with nothing to do.
4. Forget social media sites during business hours. Facebook and LinkedIn and MySpace and YouTube should be reserved for lunch time and home. If you choose to follow one of the sites at lunch time, do it away from the office and on your own smart phone or PDA. Forget game playing, even if you regularly work at home and feel that you are giving more than your 8 hours to the job because you work afterhours.
5. Never spend time at your desk on your cell phone unless you are working on company business. If the cell phone is part of your job, make sure it is only used for that during business hours. If there is the possibility of an emergency call coming in during a day, be sure to tell your management about it as soon as you know of the possibility, and inform your peers also.
6. Take advantage of at least one training opportunity in the first three months that will enhance the skills necessary to do your job better. Make sure that you do the training on your own time, even if the company will allow you the time during regular hours.
7. And finally, take responsibility for all of your actions, and never place the blame on a peer or a customer. Always say, “I recognize the problem and I will do everything in my power to make sure that I learn from this instance.” There are times when you might be falsely charged with an error or problem. Defensiveness is not the path for you. Remember, you are in that important “first impression” period.
Following these guidelines in the first three months will solidify your reputation as a hard worker and a committed employee. First impressions last a long time, and these actions will guarantee a great one for you on that new job.