How to make a good impression in your first job

07 April 2017


So, you’ve gone through the recruitment process and landed a job. Congratulations! Now's the time to prepare for starting work to ensure you make a good impression on your employer.


  • Keep personal business to a minimum. Studies show that just about everyone conducts some level of personal business from work. That might mean checking personal emails, making bookings or shopping online. Aim to keep this to a minimum and stay focused on work. If you need to deal to a personal matter, step away from your desk. Do it quickly and discreetly, and, if possible, from your personal device.
  • Ensure you avoid office politics and gossip. Offices can be full of this, but your mission should be to take the high road. Take care not to associate with the office gossips and don’t get involved in any office trash talk, especially when you first start - the reputation will stick. 
  • Obviously, always make sure you are on time. This counts for the start of the day and the end of the day. If your office closes at 5pm, but everyone stays until at least 6pm, you need to pay attention to why.  
  • Always get a feel for the office or company culture – how do they do things?


  • Having a positive attitude helps to make a good impression.  Show your enthusiasm for being part of the team with everyone you interact with. 
  • You are now part of a team, and teams work together to solve problems and get the job done. Show loyalty to your co-workers by focusing more - initially, at least - on sharing recognition with the team. Always give credit where credit is due to gain the trust of your co-workers.


  • Listening more than you talk can be one of the hardest skills to learn, especially for extroverts. However, you don’t want to get the reputation of the office know-it-all or worse, someone who always has to have the limelight. If you have a legitimate contribution, make it, but if not, do more listening and absorbing during those first days on the job.
  • Remember, you won’t be expected to know everything when you first start, so ask questions or ask for help when you need it. It’s better to ask for clarification before you’ve spent time completing a task the wrong way. Communicate openly with your supervisors about any concerns that arise.

Bonus pro-tip:

Noone expects you to have everyone’s name memorised by the end of the first day, but it’s helpful to learn some tricks to remember your co-workers’ names as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if you forget a person’s name early on. In this case, the best solution is simply to apologise and ask again.

How we can help

Remember, CDES is here to help! If you need some advice, you can attend our workshops or book in for a one-on-one appointment with a Career Development Consultant. Just login to MyCDES to make a booking.