Today is your first day on the job
and you’re prepared: You have your outfit picked out, you packed your lunch last night, and you’ve plotted out the best route on Waze. Suddenly you break out in a cold sweat as flashbacks of being the new kid in school all those years ago sets off memories of awkward introductions and curious eyes flashing in your direction.
I’m here to tell you: Calm down and wipe the sweat off your face. Being the newbie in the office is actually a fun time and nothing to worry about. You’ve already created a winning resume, aced your interview, and negotiated your salary, so the hard part is behind you. Once you’ve settled into your cubicle, it’s time to make the rounds and introduce yourself to your coworkers.
The key to a successful introduction is to take initiative. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure people know who you are and what it is that you do.
Send an email
Some companies will send out introductory emails introducing a new employee to the firm. This email usually states your official title, what it is that you are going to do for the company, who you will be working with, and your past experience. Whether or not your firm does this, make sure you follow up with an email of your own. Explain what your position is but don’t sound too formal—it’s important to take a personable approach. Invite your colleagues to stop by your desk if they have any questions or would like to know more about you and your work experience.
Break the ice
Some people cringe at the idea of having to make the first move but if you run into someone you don’t know when you’re stopping by the water cooler, it’s in bad form to stand there in silence. All it takes is a, “Hi. I don’t think we’ve met yet. I’m (state your name).” In a short sentence or two explain what it is that you do and if the other person isn’t in a hurry to get back to work, politely ask him a few questions about his role at the firm.
Do a drive-by
A great way to get to know the people around you is to stop by their office or cubicle. If the door is open and all is quiet on the home front, don’t be afraid to knock, introduce yourself, and ask what it is your coworkers do in return. This is a great opportunity to learn where different departments are located and who you can go to if you need assistance.
Suggest a lunch meeting
It doesn’t have to be a formal business meeting but setting up a lunch date with a coworker is a great way to have some one-on-one time if you’re going to be working with this person on a daily basis. If you’re living in a new city, it’s also a great way to find out the scoop on the best places in town.
One last tip
: Are you having trouble stating your main job responsibilities or what your company does off the top of your head? In five sentences or less, write down what it is that you do in simple terms and memorize it. Whenever you’re networking, which should be constantly, people will always ask about your job and it’s best to have a standard response to come back with.
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