Your first week in a new job can be difficult as you not only have to get to grips with the position but also integrate yourself into office life and figure out how things are done day-to-day.
The first meeting you attend could either be a culmination of all these problems or an opportunity to make your mark with your new colleagues.
Here are a few tips to make yourself stand out from the rest…
Find out what the meeting is about in advance and try and bring something to the table. Even if you don’t have anything to add, it’s useful to know what everyone is talking about.
As this is your first meeting, it pays to be patient and to listen more than you talk.
You may well have been introduced to everyone in the office on your arrival but the chances are your boss will want to do a more formal introduction, or at least a hello, to you in the meeting. Don’t pre-empt them by saying something too early.
Ask your boss before you go in if you could say a few words after your introduction. Keep it brief but try and lay out any previous experience you feel is relevant and, if you feel comfortable, slip a joke in.
Have something interesting to say
If you do speak up during the meeting, make sure you have something to add to the conversation. Try and make an interesting point without causing offence to others in the group. Remember, their team dynamic has been going for some time – if you come in and upset it, you may just be making things harder for yourself.
But, be honest. If you’ve been hired to fix problems, let them know that it’s what you’re here to do. Making friends in the office is all well and good, but you’ve also got a job to do.
Don’t overdo it
Don’t go in all guns blazing and try and stamp your authority on the group. Use the first meeting to see the lay of the land. You can test the water a bit with a few comments, jokes or pieces of advice, but if they’re not well received just roll it back a bit.
Meetings are a great place to see the office dynamic in action in one place. Sit back for a bit to see if you can spot things like who the natural leader of the group is and if there’s any kind of unofficial hierarchy.
Also pay attention to how people speak to each – is it jokey or all business, do people interrupt or is their order in the group?
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp
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