Congratulations! You did it – you landed a new job. All your research, rehearsal, and negotiation got you in the door and on the payroll.

Now comes the next step – making a great first impression during the early weeks of your new role.

These strategies can help you start off on the path to professional success at your new job.

Listen more than you talk (and “listen” with your eyes, too!)

There’s a lot to learn when we start a new role in a new organization. We have to learn the details of our responsibilities. We also have to pick up on the (often unspoken) rules of engagement within the company culture. Going into “sponge mode” – soaking up as much information as possible – is a good idea at this stage. Ask lots of questions. Observe how your co-workers and bosses interact. Watching how folks relate to each other will give you clues about office expectations and norms.

Take initiative

A great way to get the “lay of the land” during this phase is to talk with lots of different people. You might need to take the lead and invite people to breakfast, lunch, or coffee. These informal conversations give you a chance to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level. They also give you the chance to pick up tips and tidbits about life in the office. Have a couple of questions tucked away in your back pocket to help jump start the conversation. Asking about hobbies, interests outside of work, and insights into working for this particular organization will demonstrate your genuine curiosity.

One caution – try to avoid getting sucked into office gossip and politics. It’s never a good idea to become enmeshed in gossip at the office (or anywhere, really!). As for office politics, you’ll eventually be exposed to them. At this stage, in particular, you want to stay out of the fray. Avoid taking sides or you may end up saying something you regret later.

Say “Yes” 

During both formal meetings and more relaxed conversations, your new teammates will want to get to know you better.  Say “Yes” to as many invitations as you can and be prepared to share some information about yourself. Get involved with the more social aspects of the company. Joining an interoffice sports league, book club, event planning team, or special interest group can be a fun and relaxed way to expand your network, learn more about the organization, and build a reputation as an outstanding, engaged team member.

Bringing a positive attitude, curiosity, and an open mind to your new job – along with a willingness to listen, take the initiative, and say “Yes” – can set the stage for your long-term success.

Want more tips about building great relationships at work? Check out this article!