Anyone in the healthcare industry will tell you that it takes more than just knowledge and hard work to do well in your career. Interpersonal skills play a key role in how you are received by your superiors, your peers, and patients. That’s why it’s important to make a strong first impression when starting a new job. Here are four tips to get off on the right foot.
1. Introduce yourself to everyone.
It’s important to start building relationships with your coworkers from day one. Say hello, have a firm handshake, and remember people’s names. These bonds will need to be cultivated over time, but taking the initiative to put yourself out there will help
Pro tip: When you meet someone new, repeat their name back to them. (e.g. “It’s nice to meet you, Susan.)
2. Take note of workplace policies.
As the new kid on the block, it’s your responsibility to understand the general dynamic of your new workplace. This includes not only formal policies like dress code, but also informal things that shape the work environment (e.g. Are people more social, or quiet and reserved? Are office procedures handled a certain way?). When you take the time to observe your workplace, you can more easily adapt to the flow of things.
Pro tip: Plan ahead and ask about more formal policies (e.g. dress code, where to report to at the beginning of the day, etc.) before your start your new position.
3. Ask questions.
“Fake it till you make it” isn’t always good advice. When it’s your first day at a new job, it’s important to ask questions about your role. Asking questions is also a good way to form a bond with the people you work with. Fight the fear of being bothersome and speak up. Just be mindful of what qualifies as an important question versus something that can easily be Googled.
Pro tip: Everyone likes to give advice. Asking (genuine) questions is a good way to trigger that feeling and build rapport with coworkers.
4. Have realistic expectations.
Starting a new job is rarely an easy task. It’s normal to feel nervous, and you’re not the first person to stress about making a life change. Remember to breathe and don’t be too hard on yourself. When you are calm and collected, your new team of coworkers will take notice.
Pro tip: Think back to another time you were new at school or another job. Remember that what feels unfamiliar now will become familiar soon enough.
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