Business Magazine

Start Your Personal Brand On The Right Foot

By 2centsricher

Starting a new job is an exciting and stressful experience. On one side, it is satisfying to know that you have been chosen among several other candidates as the best possible option for a specific position. On the other side, as humans often feel, there is a layer nervousness that comes with the unknown and, more importantly, there is the fear that you will not meet expectations and fail. In the past I have written about tips to help you ace your new job. Now, however, I want to touch on a topic that I consider important not only in achieving success in a new position but also in the professional progression that you may, or may not, have in a company.

Who do you want to be?

Just like in social settings, you have only one opportunity to make a first impression with your new employer and colleagues. The first few weeks in your new job will be fundamental in creating your personal brand within that organization. You have to be very careful about what you say, what you do, what you wear and how you present yourself overall. Who do you want to be? What do you want to be known for? Do you want to be the newest office clown who cracks jokes all day and is not taken seriously or do you want to be remembered as the person who was late a couple of times in the first two or three weeks? How about the newbie who comes in every day looking like you slept in your clothes? Maybe you want to be the person who recently started, learned fast, came in on time, looked presentable, got the job done and met (or exceeded) everyone’s expectations? All of these perceptions about you will be created within the first few weeks.

It is a two-way street

This goes not only for new employees. If someone new starts in your department or company you have the same chance to create a first impression on the new team member. Do you want to be the person with bad working habits who cuts corners or sets bad examples or do you want to be the knowledgeable veteran who is willing to extend a helping hand? After all, you never know where this new person will end up. For all you know he or she might end up being your next boss at some point.

It is not about appearances

I realize that this could be interpreted to sound like I am saying that you have to keep up appearances in the short run until you get comfortable in your new environment or with a new colleague before you revert back to your old (and possibly bad) working habits. This is far from what I am trying to convey here. What I am really saying is that starting a new job or welcoming a new team member in your company is an opportunity. It is a blank slate where you can start from scratch and make a positive and lasting image and impact for the benefit of your new job, yourself and your potential. But, you have to start from the beginning because once people have made up their mind about you being the “clown”, the “late-comer” or the “buck-passer” and it will be extra difficult to change those notions.

You cannot control what people will think about you but what you can control are your actions, the image your present and the results you achieve on a daily basis. So you have to ask yourself: “Who do I want to be?”

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