Rocking it as a new hire

How to impress your boss and prove that you’re a keeper

Congrats! You got hired! Your new boss saw something in you and is giving you a shot. And now it’s time for the real audition. As a new hire, eyes will be on you—watching to see how you’re performing in your role, gelling with the team and whether you’re going to be a valuable asset to the company. 

Here are some things to do (and not do) to make a good first impression and prove to your boss that employing you is a good call.

Show respect for time 

It’s not really just about you and your time. It’s about your employer’s and your coworkers’ time, and not respecting it puts your reliability and commitment to the job into question.

  • Show up for your shift on time – Being tardy isn’t cool. It impacts team performance and customer service. If permitted, show up a few minutes early to prepare for your shift before the actual clock-in time.

  • Don’t clock out early – Think no one will notice? They will. A better way to draw attention to yourself is to make productive use of every last second of every shift. 

  • Don’t extend breaks past allocated time – Taking a breather is fine. Taking advantage of it means someone else has to pick up your slack.

  • Avoid calling out of work – If you’re sick or have an emergency, it’s understandable. But do your best to be present. Your boss is counting on you, and “stayed out late partying” doesn’t qualify as an excused absence.

Look the part

You’re a reflection of your company. And unless that company is “Slobs R Us,” you need to arrive at the job dressed in the proper attire and ready to represent.

  • If you have to wear a uniform, make sure it’s laundered and neat for every shift.

  • If you’re required to wear special gear (for instance, non-slip shoes), don’t show up without it—and risk being sent home for the day. Wearing the right gear can make work more comfortable and help you be more productive.

  • Spend a few extra minutes on your appearance— especially if you have a customer-facing role. Looking crisp and clean is a good thing. 

Be a team player

Work is often a group effort. Managers want employees who play well with others and are always willing to pitch in.

  • Be positive and friendly – Good attitudes are infectious. Be that person who brings up the spirits of everyone around them. Learn the names of your coworkers and get to know them—just make sure socializing doesn’t disrupt the work.

  • If you see it, take care of it – If the trash needs emptying, the printer’s out of paper or the to-go silverware needs restocking, fix it without being asked.

  • Show you have others’ backs – If you notice a coworker struggling, ask them how you can help. 

Work hard, work smart

You don’t have to win employee of the month on your first day, but you do need to demonstrate your strong work ethic and habit of going the extra mile. Being a great worker will make life easier for your boss.

  • Know the expectations of your role – From day one, make sure you’re clear on what your responsibilities are and the results your boss wants. Work hard to meet or exceed those expectations.

  • Be an information sponge – Read the employee handbook. Pay attention in training. Learn all you can about how to do your job and how your team and company operate. And don’t be afraid to take notes—it may help shorten your learning curve and prevent having to ask for something to be explained again.

  • Stay off your phone/social media – Texting can wait. Keeping up with TikTok isn’t mission-critical and could lead to you doing the unemployment dance.

  • Be a proactive problem solver – Bosses love it when workers come to them with solutions to problems, rather than just problems. Just don’t overstep your bounds.

  • Ask for feedback – Check in with your boss to see how you’re doing. It’ll help you improve, and it’s a way to show that you care about your work.

  • Add value – Most folks just do their work, but stand-out employees look for ways to do it better—ways that help the team and the company be better. Actions (even little ones) that improve process, save money, time and supplies can make you a hero. Be the one who tightens that leaky kitchen faucet wasting water or better organizes the stockroom to reduce the headache of finding stuff. Be the one who learns an extra skill to be able to cover another role.

You don’t have to go over the top to try to impress. Just follow these suggestions and let your hard work do most of the talking. Your boss will notice.

Katy Boyles |
Categories: Career Advice
Katy is our Social Media Manager at Snagajob, where she loves talking to hourly workers and employers all day long. Her first hourly job was as a hostess.