The first impression you make when meeting others typically dictates how you'll be perceived by them going forward, even if it is not an accurate reflection of who you truly are. This can become more problematic when you've just started a new job where you want to establish yourself and avoid being perceived the wrong way by your new co-workers.
So how can a new employee make sure they get off to a great start in a new job? What can they do to impress their managers and teammates alike? These seven entrepreneurs offer their best tips below.
Embrace the team.
"Don't just find your place at work, find your place in your team," Kitchen Cabinet Kings co-founder and CEO Anthony Saladino advises, underlining that not everything at work has to be strictly about the business.
Any fresh hire joining a new office should first of all take a minute to get to know the other members on their team -- this helps the new employee adapt faster and, therefore, perform better. "I've seen hires start at the same time, and the ones who tend to bond with their team early become successful much quicker because they're comfortable with their work team quicker," Saladino explains.
Put yourself out there.
A great way to break the ice at the new job -- if you're not excessively shy -- is to just put yourself out there so the rest of the team can learn more about you, says Hubstaff Talent co-founder Jared Brown.
"As a remote team, we have our new hires record videos of them introducing themselves," Brown says. "Some just run through the motions, which is completely OK, but I'm always impressed when employees really commit to these videos and let us into their world."
Find ways to spark conversation.
Breaking bread has always been an occasion for bonding in virtually any culture, and there is no reason why this should be different in a workplace. According to Little Dragon Media founder Amine Rahal, simple things like buying pizza for lunch or coffee for your new team can help make a good impression.
"It's a nice gesture and it's an excuse to take a break and have a snack, which invites opportunities for informal conversations to take place," Rahal says. And while working together strengthens relationships, informal conversations are really how long-lasting connections are built.
Be kind and authentic.
Arguably one of the best ways to make a positive impression on the new co-workers is to just be kind, helpful and authentic, Marquet Media, LLC founder Kristin Kimberly Marquet believes. This will also make it easier to connect with other people on your team.
"To make a positive lasting impression at a new job, be kind to everyone and show your authenticity to the team. This will help build genuine relationships and make people like you from the start," Marquet recommends.
Dress the part.
"Always make sure that you are dressed appropriately on your first day of work," Behavioral Signals CEO Rana Gujral suggests. After all, the clothing you wear is a crucial element of the image you project to the outside world.
According to Gujral, even if the new office has a casual dress code, new hires should dress a touch nicer, especially on the first day -- doing so will unequivocally tell your co-workers that you are capable of doing the job you were hired to do. "I'll never forget when I was just out of school and a new hire came into the office I was at, completely underdressed. That man did not last long," Gujral recounts.
Ask and listen.
Asking questions and listening with intent is another way of making a great first impression, as it shows that the new team member is eager and willing to learn, thinks Tyler Gallagher, founder and CEO of Regal Assets.
And eagerness to learn on the job and adaptability to changes in the workplace are two key traits of an ideal employee. "I'm always impressed whenever a new hire asks incisive questions, truly listens to what I have to say and then turns around and applies what I've taught them in practice," Gallagher adds.
Establish a reputation around initiative.
"Initiative is the most important thing for a new employee to hit the ground running," says Jared Polites, partner at LaunchTeam, while talking about important traits new hires should exhibit to make a good first impression.
"Proactively meet your co-workers, join lunch circles and attend after-work events. Don't be afraid to volunteer for tasks or projects," Polites recommends. "Try to stay one step ahead of your manager's needs and show your team members that you are responsible, driven and excited for the opportunity."