Most of our coaching advice goes to job seekers but we also coach individuals on how to be successful from day one on their new jobs. The smart candidates want this guidance because first impressions mean so much.
Kevin was an exceptional college student (Engineering Master’s Degree with a 3.8 GPA) and took his job search very seriously. The night of his first interview, he made sure to send a thank you note to his interviewer, mentioning why he really wanted the job and why he thought he would be a great hire.
He kept in touch with the manager, and ultimately, he was given the job. He tried to negotiate for a higher salary, and before doing that, he did his research. He found out that although the $53,000 per year was solid, most Master’s Degree candidates in Chemical Engineering were making $60,000. He spoke to his placement director, to other candidates that were hired, and he did some research on line. Although he didn’t win his negotiation (you don’t always get what you ask for), his manager said he would do everything he could to raise his salary as soon as he could.
So all was set for Kevin’s first day. Again, Kevin did everything right. He dressed up a bit just in case he looked too casual. He got there early. He kept himself busy even though he didn’t have a formal assignment. Here is his own description of that first day on the job….
My first day at work started when I decided what to wear. Although I was told that the dress code is lax I chose to wear a dress shirt and tie for two reasons: 1st, I wanted to show that I care about making a good impression; 2nd, dressing up generally makes me feel more confident and capable.
I showed up to work about 20 minutes early. At orientation there were about 20 new hires in an auditorium. I made it a point to make some friends during this time just in case I needed help with something! In the auditorium there were two managers who would call new hires to the front to review their security clearance forms before final submittal.
When this was finished we collectively made our oaths to the constitution (fyi, Kevin works for the Federal Government). Finally, our human resource specialists escorted us to our offices.
The first thing that my department did was to take me out to the Olive Garden to get acquainted without the pressures of the office. Next, we returned to the base where my supervisor discussed the goals and visions of our team. I made sure to ask questions regarding my place in the group.
I finished up my day by starting some of the many trainings that are required of me; I don’t exactly have an assignment so I decided I would remain busy with training at least. Also, it would be good to get this done early so as not to have to crunch it in when I do get busy.