Did you know that it takes just seven seconds for someone to form a judgment on you? And while you can change a first impression it is incredibly difficult to do so and takes a long time. After all, the saying goes “you never get a second chance at making a first impression.”
Which is why it is uber important to get it right in the first place. It is only human nature for new colleagues to form perceptions about the kind of person you are based on initial impressions. These perceptions can actually impact how your career goes at the company.
Which is good news if you managed to make a positive impression. Not so good if your first impression is a negative one.
Want to start your new job off on the right foot? Here are six secrets that will take you all the way to the top.
#1 Be confident!
Even if you don’t feel it, fake it! Your body language and posture will project how confident you are so round your shoulders and stand tall. People feel more comfortable and warm up to you more easily. It also shows that you know your stuff and are qualified to be there, a major plus with the new boss!
#2 Appearances matter
Would you have a good impression of someone who comes to work with messy hair, wrinkled clothes, dirty shoes? Don’t think so. Personal hygiene is one of the fastest ways people form their judgment. If you’re disheveled, you’re likely to come across as unreliable and all over the place – not the vibe you want to send to your colleagues. Put some effort into your appearance – it makes all the difference.
If there is one thing you need to do when making great first impressions, it is to smile. Everyone looks forward to a friendly and approachable colleague, not someone who sulks and wishes they were somewhere else. Show up to work with a smile on your face (and eyes!). It’ll come in handy eventually, especially on day when you need help with something.
#4 Learn names
When someone introduces themselves to you, repeat their names after. This helps you remember it better. Why is this important? Because when you make an effort to learn and remember names, it shows that you care. Your colleagues will appreciate the fact and be more willing to help you.
#5 Mind your manners!
Hold the door for someone. Always knock before you enter a room. Say please and thank you. These may seem like little gestures but they can go a long way when you’re forming first impressions at work. Being courteous and polite makes people more willing to work with you.
#6 Listen first, talk later
Here’s the rule of the thumb for newbies: Listen 90% of the time, talk just 10%. Nobody wants to hear you talk and talk all about yourself; you’ll come across as conceited and self-centred! Or worst, as the office know-it-all who constantly wants the spotlight on him or her. Your first month at work should be spent listening to what others have to say so you get a feel of how things are done as well as the different personalities at work. Talk only if you have a legitimate contribution to make.
Photo by Vladislav Klapin on Unsplash