During the recession, many workers hunkered down and stayed at their current places of employment – for fear of losing what they have already achieved.  However, now workers seem to be (slowly) moving in to new jobs.

Starting out at a new job (or a new job assignment) is exciting and angst-filled.  First impressions are just as important during the first days in your new job/assignment as they were during the interview process.

These first days are where you create your “employee brand”, which is simply the impression that you make on your co-workers.  It is your differentiator; it is what makes you stand out – in a good way – and makes your employer/staffing firm glad they hired you.

Here are 4 tips on how to create a positive “employee brand”:

1)         Watch, learn and listen – during the first couple of weeks, it is more important to listen and learn.  Do not instantly regale your co-workers with intimate personal stories.  Keep your conversations professional.  If you attend meetings, do not interject your opinions at will. Be prepared to offer insightful commentary, if necessary, but do not feel that one meeting is going to establish your employee brand.

2)        Learn your organization – Take the initiative, and introduce yourself to as many people as possible.  If this is out of your comfort zone, ask your new manager to make the introductions.  There have been many Monday mornings when I have been introduced to a new employee. It is always appreciated, and it helps everyone feel comfortable.

3)        Remember names – This is hard for many people, including me. I can remember faces from as far back as my first job out of college, but many times I am at a loss for what name to use when searching for old work cohorts on LinkedIn.  Remembering someone’s name is a skill – one that is mastered by successful people all over the world.  When you are able to recall a name, it impresses the recipient and makes them feel valued.  There many tricks to help with name recall – repetition, imagery-based tactics, mnemonic devices.  To view some of these methods, visit Snelling’s Pinterest board (People + Careers).

4)        Go the extra mile – Your employee brand should always include a reputation for being proactive and hard-working.  However, remember to take it slow at first.  Make sure you only take on what you can handle to avoid unreasonable expectations in the future. Once you set precedence, it is very hard to break.

The final thing to remember is to be yourself; this underlies everything you do.  In just the same way you cannot pretend to be someone that you are not in your personal life, you cannot pretend to be someone that you are not in your professional life.  However, “being yourself” cannot be used as a justification for bad work habits, skipping work, sloppy attire, or missing deadlines.  Those are the basics for employment or temporary work.  However, if you are not an extrovert, do not try to be.  Spend some time thinking about what you bring to the table.  What are your skills, your work style, your work goals?

For more information on transitioning into the workplace, please visit our Snelling Candidate Resource Hub on our website.  Here you can find all kinds of information on career strategies, including highlighting your value, and the all-important first impression.   Remember, Snelling has had over 60 years of experience helping candidates find their best-fit job; we are here to leverage our experience to help you succeed.

NOTE:  For a full-color, downloadable PDF, click here