Everyone wants to make a good impression at work, especially if you’re new. Here are a few tips to help you impress your employer and coworkers when you’re on the job, and off:
It may not be ideal, but it’s true: we are judged by our appearance. Even if we may not consciously realize it, we make basic judgments on the way people are dressed. If you wear a t-shirt to work, you may not be taken as seriously as you would if you were to wear a tie. So consider what is appropriate for your work place and take cues from what your peers and supervisors are wearing.
When you try to cover up a mistake, it will likely just become a bigger problem. If you really don’t know the solution, then ask for help. It’s better to swallow any embarrassment and begin to solve the problem than sit on it in shame while it just grows bigger. Taking responsibility for your mistakes is a mature response. It indicates that although you made a bad call, you’re putting aside your ego and working toward a solution.
Don’t zone out, be present and attentive. Nothing is worse than receiving instructions, but having to ask again because you weren’t listening. Plus, if you’re a great listener than you can notice details about people that will help establish solid professional relationships. When you remember your boss’s son’s name and can ask after him, you’ll show that you care, are attentive, and thoughtful: all good things to demonstrate.
If you don’t know something, ask. It’s always better to be curious if you don’t know how to do something rather than just plow ahead and risk a mess. However, you should be careful not to ask when you already know what to do and are just fearful of doing it. Trying to anticipate the needs of your boss or team is a huge part of being a successful worker. If you know that something needs to be done, then take the initiative and do it. However, if you don’t know how, then ask. Especially if you’re a new employee, you’re expected to ask questions.
Be tidy in your work area, but also be organized with your computer files, emails, and calendar. Having good organizational skills won’t just make you look more professional, but it will make your job much easier. Unorganized work will take you longer to finish, and will often not be as polished. Being organized shows that you’re professional and know how to take care of yourself.
Be mindful of bringing up certain conversational topics and always avoid gossip. Offices are often filled with the proverbial “water cooler” talk, which can sometimes veer into gossip. While it’s definitely great to build friendly relationships with your coworkers, you should always be positive. Spreading negativity will only come back to bite you, and it reflects negatively on your professional demeanor. You’ll only make enemies if you gossip. Depending on the dynamic in your office, it may be best to avoid topics like politics as well. Polarizing issues can create friction, so it’s best to keep the chitchat centered on your work.
Show gratitude to your coworkers and supervisors. Always remember to say thank you, and if someone does you a favor be sure to reciprocate, or treat them to lunch. When you demonstrate that you can show appreciation, you’re more likely to keep receiving assistance or favors when you need them. When you’re grateful, you’ve proven that you noticed and truly appreciate their help.
If you’re at a conference, work party, or any other type of professional event that is more social, always remember that you’re representing your company. If you say an untoward comment, or drink too much, then that’s a negative reflection on your company. Always be mindful and professional when you’re in work-centered social situations.
This almost goes without saying, but be on your best behavior. Brush up on your etiquette and make sure to treat everyone with respect. This means being kind, listening to others’ ideas and opinions, and having a controlled and appropriate response to people’s actions and words.
No one likes a complainer. Don’t gripe about your work, even if you want to. Be positive or don’t say anything at all. If you bring negativity into a situation, the negativity will just grow. Instead, try to plant positivity in situations, even if you feel the opposite, and hopefully your positive attitude will grow. This will reflect well on you as it’s a key component to working well with a team and as a leader.
Losing your cool is a rookie mistake. If you can show that you remain calm in a crisis, you’ll instantly leave a great impression. Being calm in a tough situation means you’re more likely to be able to work toward a solution.
How do you make an impression at work? Do you have any more advice? Share your advice on UltiCareer’s survey to help others find out what your type of job is really like so they can find their own career path.
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