Starting a new role is always intimidating. You may have the right skills and qualifications, but you still need to learn the culture and prove yourself to your new supervisor and colleagues.
If you're looking to stand out and make a great first impression, you'll need to go the extra mile to truly establish yourself in your new role. We asked a panel of entrepreneurs how new employees can hit the ground running during their first month on the job. Here are eight tactics that are sure to wow any new boss.
Show up and be present.
Shilpi Sharma, co-founder and CEO of Kvantum Inc., stresses the importance of showing up and truly being present at every meeting you're invited to, whether it's mandatory or optional. Doing so can help you better understand the people, teams, work and culture.
"Take detailed notes about how people interact and how leadership communicates," says Sharma. "Do not jump to conclusions. Just listen and absorb."
Proactively schedule meetings with your colleagues.
Learning your employer's organizational structure is important. One of the best ways to do that is to schedule introductory meetings with your new colleagues.
"We've had new hires who have proactively set up time with team members and have asked intelligent questions on the fly -- which is a sure sign that they are ready to hit the ground running," says Stephen Beach, CEO of Craft Impact Marketing. "Set an agenda, discuss current pain points, key initiatives and action items, and be sure to check in regularly."
Ask for feedback.
Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights, is always impressed when a new employee actively reaches out for feedback during their first few weeks on the job.
"It shows that they want to continue to improve and become better at their job," he says. "Instead of forming bad habits, they can correct their mistakes right away, which is really important for new employees."
Suggest ways to improve current processes.
You might be wary of questioning the processes you're learning, but if you see a way to improve them, it could work in your favor to respectfully bring it up. For example, Duran Inci, co-founder and COO of Optimum7, says that a recent hire resurfaced the idea of working from home -- a policy he had previously been against.
"She came with a solid plan that truly showed the benefits in a new light, and it's been working great," he adds. "I’m impressed with new employees when they study our processes and protocols, but don't treat them as set in stone."
Prove your value right away.
Sweta Patel, founder of Silicon Valley Startup Marketing, says that at past jobs, she would try to handle one large achievement quick to make sure her worth was apparent to the rest of the team.
"If I was supposed to reach a certain milestone, I would work hard and make sure I went past the milestone to make the team happy," she explains. "This created the 'wow' moment for everyone."
Learn to manage people's expectations.
"The most important thing to establish within the first month of starting a new job is what your manager expects of you," says Charles Koh, co-founder of Pixery, Inc.
Setting the bar too high sets you up for failure, but if you set the bar too low, you could come off as a slacker. "By understanding what your expectations are for the role, you can better control what to do," he explains.
Listen carefully, but ask insightful questions, too.
At any new job, there's a lot to learn and absorb. While listening is important, asking the right questions to clarify and better understand what you've learned is just as essential.
"The people who stand out during onboarding are those who not only pay close attention, but also ask insightful questions," says Thomas Smale, founder of FE International. "The quality of these queries is usually a solid predictor of future performance."
Say 'yes' to new opportunities and extra projects.
According to Colbey Pfund, co-founder of LFNT Distribution, new hires should say "yes" to every opportunity they can, whether it's a side project or participating in the company potluck.
"Get into the mix of the company," says Pfund. "This will get your face seen and your work ethic and personality known. You'll be welcomed into the team before you know it."