You know the old saying about not getting a second chance to make a first impression?
It makes sense, right?
After all the energy spent on getting that new mission, it can be tempting to sit back and relax, but you have to stay focused to ensure joining a new team goes as smoothly as possible.
Let Brigad share five practical pieces of advice for making a good first impression when you start a new mission. These five things may seem obvious, but we don’t always think about them when we’re caught up in the excitement (or stress) of starting a new mission.
1. To make a good impression when starting a new mission, you have to master the art of introducing yourself
Your first days in a new team will be full of meeting lots of people. The key to making a good impression when you start a new mission is to be proactive about introducing yourself to every member of your new team.
Take the time to say hello, introduce yourself and explain your new role and responsibilities. Think about it: longer-serving colleagues don’t necessarily have the time to approach the new boy or girl first, so it seems obvious that it’s up to you to make the first move!
Start with your direct colleagues, since they’re the ones you will be working with, and once introductions are over, try to make each of your daily encounters meaningful. Ask the nurse that you bump into in the lift how their day is going, or share a joke with the sous chef that you see at the coffee machine in the staff room.
Show each team member the respect that they deserve - and don’t worry if you have to make a cheat sheet to remember everyone’s names!
2. Follow examples from other members of your team
It can be difficult to immediately get your head around a team’s working methods when you’re new. The best way to find your place when you join a new team - and so to make the best first impression - is simply to follow your colleagues’ lead.
Be attentive! Analyse how the other waiters interact with the shift supervisor or head chef, for example. Observe the way they communicate with each other in different situations. Also, try to find out the times at which your manager is available, and the best strategy to adopt for announcing bad news. This information will be precious in forging the image your superior has of you.
The same observational skills are valuable when it comes to team dynamics. Be attentive to the little quirks and rituals that are unique to this new team. This will allow you to quickly adapt and understand how people greet each other, find your natural place at break times, and even contribute to team cohesion, helping team members work together efficiently.
Bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to strategically seek out people who may be very useful for helping you make a good start. Find the veterans that know the place like the back of their hand; they’re the ones who can give you the most valuable advice!
3. Don’t be scared of asking questions, and be prepared to learn new things
When you’re fresh out of the starting blocks, it’s natural to want your skills and professionality to shine through. This isn’t, however, necessarily the best approach in making a good first impression when you start a mission.
It’s totally normal to want to show what you can do, but humility is a quality that your co-workers will be particularly sensitive to. You have just arrived, so there are inevitably things that you don’t know yet - specific processes unique to your new team that you will be initiated in. Feel free to ask questions, and adopt the mindset of being there to learn rather than to impress.
Djeneba, a personal carer, explained to us how demonstrating a desire to learn as much as possible helped her to fit in when she started a new mission. She told us how striving to be a good listener allowed her to learn from her colleagues, who showed her some good techniques for calming her patients.
Take a leaf out of her book and accept that you don’t know everything. Moreover, respect your colleagues’ experience and be grateful for what knowledge they can share with you!
4. Get stuck in and be prepared to help your new team!
Asking questions and requesting feedback is an excellent way to make a good first impression when starting a new mission. The next step involves putting into practice everything you have learnt, and proving that you are the right person for the job!
What are the main qualities that you highlighted on your profile or during interviews? Make sure you uphold those promises and live up to your new team’s expectations, providing valuable support where they need it most.
Simply explaining your new role or what your day-to-day responsibilities involve can have this effect, and having a positive, “can-do” attitude - being available, flexible, and ready to get stuck in - is especially effective.
Try to get involved as much as possible. Let the maître d’ or duty manager know that you’re willing to give 100%. Feel free to arrive a few minutes early, or stay a few minutes late, just until you get used to your new role. Your willingness to work and do good will contribute hugely to the first impression you make.
5. To make a good impression when starting a new mission, you have to be yourself!
The need to make a good first impression tends to add a lot of pressure to situations, whether they be in our professional or personal lives. When we’re trying to please others and show them what we’re capable of, we may forget who we are and even be tempted to exaggerate the truth.
Making a good first impression when starting a new mission by showing that you’re competent and motivated is perfectly understandable. But if you do too much in the first few days, you will struggle to keep it up in the long term. The key to becoming an integral part of your new team is therefore to be yourself. Be honest about your skills and experience, and don’t be ashamed about not knowing everything or having to ask for help.
This honesty will mean your colleagues can assist you where you need help, which, in turn, has the advantage of highlighting your strong points to your managers. This, coupled with the new skills you will learn with more experienced colleagues, will demonstrate to your managers how you can quickly become an invaluable part of the team.
We hope this advice has been helpful to you for making a good first impression when you start a new mission. Of course, don’t forget that being punctual, taking care of your appearance, and adopting a positive attitude are also essential qualities for fitting in with a new team. But you knew that already :)