Making a good first impression is difficult at any job. Some companies have come to see the benefit of remote work, as well—both financially and practically. When you start your first remote job, consider several things on your first day and the weeks following. Here are four tips to help you make a first good impression:
- Make sure you have all necessary equipment
With no office to commute to, it’s important to have your setup working and ready to go. What equipment you need is entirely up to your role in the company. Most companies will provide the equipment you need but if not, you need to ensure that everything you need is ordered and ready for your first day of work. If you don’t have the necessary equipment, let someone know immediately instead of waiting it out. In the remote work world, technology issues can hinder communication entirely. Technological challenges come with the territory when you work remotely, test and troubleshoot all of your equipment ahead of time to minimize the chances of something going wrong. Take the initiative and ask your employer about available technical support if you run into issues. You’ll want to develop a backup plan in case the internet goes down in your home, like ensuring you can use your phone as a hotspot. This is only the first step in being able to communicate effectively.
- Be personable
It won’t be long before you are called into your first video chat as part of the process of welcoming new hires and onboarding in general. These chats may include one-on-one meetings with your supervisor, team lead, etc. You might also have to introduce yourself to the entire company, which sounds as frightening as it feels—first impressions matter. A lot! During this period of time, your goal is to perfect the balance between being proactive and receptive. You don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself, and you shouldn’t try to either. Don’t say out-of-pocket things. Just be yourself but not too much like yourself. Start out by being polite and friendly. Don’t think too hard about what you’re going to say before a meeting or you risk the chance of sounding like a robot. If your company only communicates through brief chats with no video component, ask for some additional introductions and feedback so you can meet and connect with more people.
- Ask questions
Even if you get the hang of your job and consider yourself a fast learner, it is important not to be completely silent and go under the radar. Not being noticed can actually work against your favor. People might think you don’t care or aren’t interested. You also don’t want to ask questions just to seem engaged obsessively. Asking questions about organizational structure is always essential when you first start a role. Your goal with asking questions should be to save everyone’s time and money. If you are able to ask important questions and questions that can help the future onboarding process, you will be seen as a valuable addition to the team.
- Be transparent
It’s important to keep others aware of what you’re doing, especially at the start of your new job. For example, you definitely don’t want to get through your first week, have a catch-up meeting with your manager, and discover to your horror that you misinterpreted your first batch of work- and were doing it all wrong and/or working on the wrong project. Communicating constantly with your supervisor and coworkers can be challenging when you are working remotely and able to create your work schedule. Checking in frequently can give you a chance to shine and stay connected. Be active and always ready to participate in group discussions. Try to speak up and be engaged during meetings. The more invested and transparent you are with your coworkers, the more you will progress and get people to know that you are getting the hang of things.
By taking these steps in your approach to your work, you can demonstrate your dedication and drive to your employer, even from a completely different city. Making a good first impression when working remote requires some deliberate actions, but it’s well worth the effort.
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