How to Make a Good Impression: What Not to Say During Your First Few Months on a New Job

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Any time you need to make a transition, it can be difficult to adjust--and a new job is no exception. You want to be able to fit in with your new coworkers, start showing your skills, and convincing your new bosses that they made the right decision in hiring you.

In order to make the best possible impression on both your new employer and your coworkers, however, there are several things you should avoid saying. 

"Trust Me!"

Trusting a new coworker is seldom, if ever, automatic. Trust must be earned gradually.

Trusting a new coworker is seldom, if ever, automatic. Trust must be earned gradually.

Trust is earned, not a given between coworkers. Even if you genuinely have knowledge that your coworkers don't, it's important not to assume that position of trust too early. Instead, take the steps necessary to build that trust--and in the meantime, back up any claims that you make. Keep in mind, too, that if it comes down to trusting you or trusting an employee who has been with the company a lot longer, that employee is probably going to win. Don't start conflicts that will end with no one victorious. 

"Well, the Way We Did It at My Last Job..."

Your voice is not the voice of experience at your new company, particularly where it pertains to the way the company does business.

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If you find yourself chafing at routines or processes that don't seem as efficient as your last place of employment, keep in mind that you haven't been with the company long. You haven't had a chance to learn the important "why" behind the way things or done, nor have you had a chance to observe whether or not those processes are already effective enough on their own.

Even if you've been hired to fill a specific role that's different than other employees or if you have knowledge, thanks to past experience or education, that they don't, it's important to be sure you aren't coming across as a know-it-all. 

Some people say that if you've truly accomplished something great, it isn't bragging to talk about it. However . . .

Some people say that if you've truly accomplished something great, it isn't bragging to talk about it. However . . .

Bragging

It's hard not to brag about your skills and capabilities. After all, you want your new coworkers to understand how great a fit you are for the company! Unfortunately, bragging can earn you a reputation for arrogance far faster than one for competence and capability. Even if others relish stories of your impressive past accomplishments, there will be no escaping the bragging label you will earn. So resist the urge to brag about yourself. 

Instead, showcase your capability by doing your job well and by building strong working relationships with your coworkers. Opportunities to share bits and pieces of your past will come around eventually, but it is better to wait and be asked about your life experiences.

What to Share Instead

As you're feeling your way with the new company, there are some things which you can feel free to share with your coworkers and bosses. While you want to be careful to keep things professional, these strategies are a great way to build understanding.

When you begin a new job, do not ever underestimate the importance of building good working relationships with your fellow employees from the get-go. Make it a priority.

When you begin a new job, do not ever underestimate the importance of building good working relationships with your fellow employees from the get-go. Make it a priority.

  • Provide personal life experience and tidbits as they're relevant.

Take the time to listen before you jump in on a conversation, and when you do, share some background before offering advice. 

  • Ask good personal questions.

You don't have to get too personal as you get to know your coworkers--and, in fact, you shouldn't--but asking great questions will show your interest in them as well as improve your understanding of the people you work with everyday.

  • Ask about how things work in the company.

If you genuinely want to understand how things are run at your new company, ask the people who have worked there longest! They're your best source of information about the company culture, standard procedures, and other critical information. 

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Building a rapport with your new coworkers takes time, and it won't happen overnight. Some of them will likely be more comfortable with a new addition to the team, while others will need to take time to get to know you. By asking questions and listening first, then waiting before you share your opinion, you can help improve your new coworkers' opinions of you and ease the transition for everyone involved.

If you need more tips about how to fit in at your new position or if you're struggling to find the job that's right for you, contact us today to learn how we can help.