It takes more than just icebreaker games to establish yourself in a new job. While nerves are perfectly normal on your first day, you should also be confident and ready to tackle the tasks ahead.
Don't be afraid to speak up with improvements.
New hires bring fresh eyes to the team, so they have the opportunity to share ideas on how operations could be improved. John Rood, president of tutoring business Next Step Test Prep, appreciates when employees aren't afraid to call out something that could use an upgrade.
"I once hired an employee who took one look at my sales record-keeping system and told me, nicely, that it was awful and that he could fix it -- and then he did," says Rood. "Look for spots where you aren't just turning the crank, but also improving the machine."
Show that you're a self-starter.
Russell Kommer, president of software development and training company eSoftware Associates Inc, likes to see a strong self-starter who doesn't need a manager constantly looking over their shoulder -- they know when to check in. This takes initiative and great organizational skills.
"One of our past hires was extremely organized to the point of getting everything done on time," says Kommer. "They relentlessly followed up with managers whenever they needed additional info to get the job done."
Go the extra mile.
"New employees who stand out immediately are those who go the extra mile when given a task and who take initiative in areas that directly benefit the business," says Douglas Baldasare, founder and CEO of cell phone charging provider ChargeItSpot. This could mean going above and beyond on a project or identifying outside opportunities to attract new clients.
"I recently had a new employee alert me to a local conference that had five potential clients attending," he says.
Get to know your coworkers.
It can be daunting to meet new coworkers, but an outgoing attitude goes a long way. Cassie Petrey, co-founder of music marketing services company Crowd Surf, values new employees who show their dedication through their desire to get to know the team.
"Last December, we had a new staff member start on the same day as our holiday party. We told her it was okay to skip the party since it was her first day, but she used the opportunity to get to know her coworkers," says Petrey. "I appreciated her dedication to her new role, as that couldn't have been the easiest thing on an already stressful first day on the job."
Bring new ideas to the table.
"I encourage all new employees to come to the table with ways current processes could be improved, or out-of-the-box ideas we haven't tried before," says Leila Lewis, founder and CEO of wedding PR agency Be Inspired PR. This is not only a good way to impress the boss, but it can wow clients as well.
"Recently I had an employee come up with a new process for presenting client reports," says Lewis. "She took the lead on overhauling it and the response from our clients has been phenomenal."
Be early and ask tough questions.
Committing to getting to work early and standing out during meetings is a good strategy for making a positive impression. Abhilash Patel, co-founder of addiction treatment online resource Recovery Brands, doesn't forget the team members who speak up with thought-provoking questions.
"I will always remember a new hire who made a point of being at work before anyone else," says Patel. "During team meetings, she never shied away from asking tough questions that others may have been hesitant to ask. Sometimes she was right, sometimes she wasn't, but she was always thinking everything through."
Prove you can be trusted.
Richard Kershaw, CEO of web hosting tool WhoIsHostingThis.com, values trust above all else, especially as his team is remote. If you establish trust right off the bat, your new team will know they can count on you.
"I once overpaid a member of our team," says Kershaw. "She returned the money before I even noticed."