Impressing your new employer is a delicate process. A number of factors can affect how your new colleagues perceive you in a new environment; an individual who is sensitive to these forces tends to be the most successful in delivering a great first impression. Below are tips on how to impress your new boss or colleagues under three common scenarios you may face.
Scenario 1: You are recruited into your new role
This is the ideal scenario. You are entering the group by invitation, and everyone is excited to have you on board. Demonstrating your value here is easiest – go ahead and flex your intellectual firepower and leverage all of your past experiences and expertise that got you the offer in the first place. Show your managers and your peers that you are as good as advertised. Be cautious, however, about overshadowing others too quickly and be mindful of any “dues” you need to pay before taking full charge of a project or initiative.
Scenario 2: You are replacing an employee who left
In this situation, demonstrating your value to an employer in a position vacated by someone else can be a challenge. First, determine what kind of worker your predecessor was by asking to see past deliverables or asking for informal insight from your new colleagues. If you are replacing a rock star, make sure that your A game is always at the ready. Take every opportunity to speak up at a meeting that shows you are on top of your new responsibilities. If the person you replaced was less than stellar, offer new ideas on how you would approach or reinvent the role in a straightforward manner. A written outline is a great way to organize your ideas quickly. Be ready to present your view as an “elevator pitch” to superiors who are curious to know what you will do differently.
Scenario 3: You join a new team due to a merger
Joining a group or company out of situational necessity is the toughest circumstance in which to impress your new employer. If you come from the acquiring entity, prepare yourself for unsolicited personal attacks and passive aggression from your new co-workers. How can you impress anyone here when others frankly don’t want to like you? Well, simply stay quiet and listen. Take the time to meet new colleagues on an individual basis and find out what they do. Let others talk about what value they bring to the table before you share what you do or what you did at the “other company” do. Work the floor and introduce yourself. Be an active, honest listener and speak up with ideas in meetings when addressed. This approach should lessen your perceived threat level to others and open the door to communication and teamwork, perhaps your most valuable contribution in this particular case.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.