18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Whether you’re changing to a new job in the same line of work or completely switching industries, the first day might be a bit scary and exciting!

The possibility of losing or keeping one’s job starts the first time you step your feet into the workplace; with the kind of impression you give your superiors and coworkers.

Just like every chess player needs to get the first few moves right, you have to ensure that you make an outstanding first impression at your workplace.

You want to make a good first impression, but you’re also slightly nervous about everything.

Never fear! Here are some tips to help you make an impressive appearance on your first day at work. The 18 secrets listed here would give you a good start at your workplace. Here we go, just read on!

1. Come prepared 

Learn about the sort of tasks you will be doing on a daily basis. This should be revealed to you in the job interview and when you received the notice that you’ve been hired.

As a result, you can do some research preparing for your tasks. For instance, if you’re hired as part of the marketing team, research their current campaigns and come with a host of ideas right away.

People will be impressed that you’re raring to go and full of suggestions. It looks better than someone that takes a back seat right away. 

2. Arrive early

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace
18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Never be late to work. That should be a general rule that you stick to throughout your career. However, it’s even more crucial when you’re at a new job. Turning up late on your first day is a fantastic way of getting off on the wrong foot.

Instead, be sure you’re one of the first people there. Think about the start time, then aim to be there fifteen minutes before. It shows punctuality and eagerness, which impresses everyone else.

Additionally, it’s a lot easier to settle in when you’re the first one there, and people slowly start arriving. You can greet them one by one, rather than walking in and everyone is staring at you. 

Read 10 human right and ethics in the workplace

3. Dress to impress

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace
18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

You may have the best intentions at heart and the best mindset, but only God really sees that; men see the outward appearance, period. The first thing that leaves an impression on those at your workplace even before you do anything is the way you’re dressed.

If you go to your office in dirty, outdated or rumpled clothing, the impression would be that you are unprofessional. Dress shabbily and you’ll be seen as someone who barely has his or life in order. You need to dress right because it’s important and gives you a high boost of confidence.

Ensure that you dress in an acceptable manner that beautifies you. Also, endeavour to know what dress type is required at your workplace and stick to that, whether it is casual, uniform or formal attires. Obviously, your new workplace will have certain dress codes in place.

Your appearance must be clean and don’t forget to check your breath and use deodorants. The best dresses are nothing when your body odour knocks people off.

It seems simplistic, but the way you dress has a big impact on the impression you make. Additionally, there are ways to ensure that people take notice of you. Find a site like www.eyeglasses.com to buy a pair of professional-looking glasses.

Polish your shoes before you go to work, and make sure everything else is ironed. Little touches like this make you seem way more professional and ready for action. It’ll turn heads for all the right reasons. 😉 

4. Take it easy

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace
18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Be calm. You can do this. Being agitated will only reduce your chances of doing this effectively. So, calm down and your first day at work would be a blast.

Everything about you would give people at your workplace an impression of you. The impression you must let them of you is a great character and personality. You can go in on your first day smiling widely and apologizing professionally or you could go in with a frown, greet no one, stay in your office, and disappear at the end of the day.  Either way, there’s a huge possibility you are being noted.

Whenever people find you to be extreme, they’ll see you as a freak. That is just one of the bad impressions you don’t want. Fellow workers want someone they can relate with. Bosses want employees that don’t make them weary.

You could also try to blend in and be like everyone else on the job. That would make fellow workers like you, but it could make you lose the value your boss places on you because he or she expects you to bring something new to the table.

Wow! Looks like every sensible thing you do can create a bad impression. Not exactly!

5. Be valuable

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace
18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. You are in the workplace to add value. The first impression you want to give everyone is that you are very valuable. You need to be seen as a person of diligence. So, give the work your all and go the extra mile.

For instance, if you go into your workplace as a receptionist on the first day, you need to ensure that the costumers coming into your enterprise get the best service from you than from everyone else in the neighbourhood.

You need to let everyone know that you appreciate your job, you mean the best for the workplace, and that you are reliable and productive. Ask for more tasks if you can and seek to leave the workplace better than you found it. 

Read 21 keys to becoming an effective leader in the workplace

6. Be respectful

Respect has a multiplicative effect. Once I know someone respects me, it is easier for me to relate with that person. It also gives that person a respectable character in my sight. That’s the kind of impression you want to create. Being respectful shows that you have good manners and are well disciplined.

Control your instinct to be wild, mean, rough, impolite, rude and meddlesome in others’ affairs. Also, increase your willingness to listen to others. People find it disrespectful when you don’t listen to them. You want to let your superiors know that you are cooperative.

Your coworkers want to rest assured that they won’t have a bad day because of you. So, take note of whatsoever behavioural pattern may be offensive and find ways to substitute them with better ones.  If you are working in a cultural setting that is different from yours, you need to do some research on what people in that setting find disrespectful. Remember to greet people too.

Read 18 proven ways to promote core values in the workplace

7. Be yourself

Being yourself works 100 percent of the time. By now you know your strength and weaknesses, your personality and overall attitude. You know what tempts you the most, makes you laugh the hardest, and what makes you angry.

You know what it is that helps you to be productive. So, just be you. Being yourself doesn’t entail violating existing protocols. You can’t be sniffing cocaine in the office and then tell everyone that you are just being the crazy you.

Being yourself means doing your best, accepting your imperfections while working wholeheartedly on them and not allowing negative comments or thoughts of others to influence how you see yourself and act.

The truth is when once you focus all your attention on being who you are not, you’ll not be able to keep it all together. That way you’ll end up showing people more flaws.

Be yourself. You are enough. You are much better than you think. Bosses and coworkers love originality and confidence in one’s uniqueness. So, give them just that on your first day.

Read 21 productivity tips you need while working from home

8. Be confident

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace
18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Confidence leaves the right message. The best suit in the world would look unbefitting on a guy who can’t look others in the eyes, give firm handshakes and stand tall. Bosses want to be reassured that the person they employed is bold, assertive and firm.

What your fellow workers need to see is the strength of character. Being an introvert doesn’t stop you from being confident. And being outgoing doesn’t mean confidence should go overboard and be rude. Walk like a person with purpose and ambition. Don’t cower under any form of pressure.

Have a spring in your steps. Smile like you have your life in order. Believe in your skills and aspirations. Keep your self-worth in mind and don’t let anything diminish it. Empty out whatever negativity there is in your mind.

9. Be friendly

Some people are not friendly because they feel that being friendly makes them appear vulnerable. They are wrong. Let me tell you what is true: As a new employee, you need to get well acquainted with one or two people so you don’t appear anti-social.

Being friendly shows that you can work with teams to maximize success. You don’t want anyone thinking you are not a good team player or that you are not easy to get along with. The impression you want to leave them with is that you are kind, caring and relational.

So, socialize with some meaningful small talk, smile and show some acts of kindness. Avoid controversial topics like religion and politics. Have a good sense of humour.

10. Show great work ethics

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace
18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Nothing makes you stand out at the workplace than showing that you know what you are doing and that you can be trusted to do well on the job. There are different ways to go about work, but you just have to do it right.

Show the best work traits. Be focused. Be tactful. Submit your task on time. Be punctual. Give less time to distraction. Show your superiors that you have the potentials to be a responsible employee.

Show your fellow workers that you are worth working with and not another nuisance in a workplace that already has its many problems.

11. Keep your workspace clean

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

So, you got a job in an urban planning/waste management firm, and your workspace is cluttered, what are you managing anyway? Apart from the fact that your every action should protect the interest of your firm, you need to ensure that people don’t see you as dirty and disorganized.

You can do that by ensuring that your workspace, whether it’s just a table or full-fledged office for you alone is uncluttered. As a plus, working in an uncluttered environment helps you to work more effectively because your brain does not have to deal with so much mental noise all at once.

If your workspace is cluttered, you’ll easily get stressed and that can badly affect the way you treat others and just mess up your entire plan of making a great first impression.

Some people might feel that having every inch of their space all covered up with work stuff like the room of a lazy teenager is a way to show people that they are doing a lot. But that just makes others have the impression that you are more interested in pleasing people and that by extension, you are insecure. So, have a space cleaning plan.

Dump that unwanted paper in the trash, clean food crumbs from the table, put important papers in the drawer or in a nice heap when not in use, close windows on your computer that you are not using or that are not related to work. Keep everything you need where you can easily find them.

Read 18 Tips for getting started when switching industries

12. Utilize office property carefully

People love someone who doesn’t spoil things. If there is one thing you want to avoid in order to create a great impression in the workplace, that is leaving office property worse than you found it. It could just be as simple as slowly opening the door to your office so the doorknob doesn’t pull off or not getting mad at the photocopier when your document gets stuck in it.

Exercise extra care from the moment you step into the office. This is one tip you can over-do if you want because you need to leave the impression that you are a circumspective person; one who would take his time to make decisions so as to minimize risk, reduce damages (especially monetary ones) and ultimately increase profits.

Your superiors would rather have an employee that thinks before making any step, than one that reminds them that they must renew the company’s insurance plan because the building could be burnt down any moment.

So, take your time. Don’t be careless. Get help if you encounter issues with using any office property. If something eventually gets faulty, take responsibility, immediately report and apologize to the necessary authorities.

Read 18 careers that make a difference in people’s lives

13. Stick to the rules

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

When you go to Rome, do as the Romans do. When you get to that work for the first time, pay attention to instructions. How does the concept of being a law-abiding citizen sound to you? Pleasing, right?

Exactly! To make a great impression in the workplace, you need to know what the rules and instructions are and obey them. This behaviour would give the impression that you are an obedient person. It would also help you to stay out of trouble because instructions are put in place to give order and ensure that things happen properly.

You also don’t want to be reprimanded on your first day. So, check out for rules that govern your workplace, pay attention to what is said at the orientation session, talk to your colleagues or just observe how they do things.

14. Don’t give familiarity a chance

Familiarity can ruin your hard-earned work. Before you walk up to that female coworker that has been nice to you and ask about her love life, wait! Familiarity breeds contempt. I remember when I told my boss “Hi” a few weeks after being recruited, that did not go well at all. I almost lost my job.

On your first day at work, you need to give people their space and due respect. Don’t overstep relational boundaries. You don’t want to appear as someone who is more interested in things that are not directly related to the progress of the workplace and likes to take advantage of other people’s good sides.

Maintain respectful communication with people at the office in a way that is simple and focused on the work at hand. Don’t let people regret knowing you.

15. Don’t be a source of distraction

Distracting others is a sure-fire way to make a bad impression at the workplace. What some people do on their first day of work is to try to get as much attention as possible.

But that usually doesn’t go down well because, in the process, they end up becoming distractive elements that can potentially affect work output. So, talk only when necessary and do nothing that would interfere with the progress of others.

16. Be optimistic

18 Secrets On How To Make A Great First Impression In The Workplace

Being negative has never helped anyone. To make a great first impression, you need to show positivity. People don’t want to work with someone who is generating bad energy. Be optimistic in your words and actions. Let your countenance be that of happiness and hope. Smile to show your optimism.

17. Do your research

To be forewarned is to be forearmed; more knowledge gives you a higher chance of winning. Find enough information on your workplace to know all that is expected of you. That’s an amazing option. 

18. Leave late

Similarly, leaving a bit later than required can be a great show of your work ethic. It displays an ability to stick around and get extra work done if required.

Some people may think you’re trying too hard, but your bosses won’t care. They’ll be impressed, and they’re the ones with the opinions that matter the most. 


What you do on your first day at work can make the difference between your boss feeling worried or fellow workers developing a bad attitude towards you or not. It’s in your best interest to ensure to make an outstanding impression. 

My first official job was working for my dad as his personal car washer at age 13. One thing I noticed about those periods of making our jeep shine was that having a job gives you joy and pride.

Many of us will do anything to ensure that we don’t lose our jobs but a lot of us still end up losing our jobs or not getting the full treatment we want.

Try these tips when you’re preparing to resume a new job and watch yourself make a spectacular impression.

Once you get the first day out of the way, every other day becomes easier. It’s helpful to put on a show and make a good statement from the moment you walk through the doors. Let people know that you mean business!

There you have it. Make use of the secrets listed here and automatically launch yourself into amazing work life. Share to everyone you know.

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Post Author: Bright Bassey

Bright Bassey is a student of Chemical Engineering at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He has been writing professionally since 2019 and has not ceased to leave readers looking for more ever since. He is committed to making the world a better place through his writing.

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