How to make a lasting first impression in the first week of your career

The first week of anyone's career is a very important period. No matter what the job is, or what the salary package offered is, it is the gateway for mindsets, for far greater things to happen in your life. There are certain basics in this regard. These are discussed in some detail in this article, based on a huge number of real-world experiences and lessons that one can infer from such experiences.


The first week of your career should be a period when you exhibit a great deal of optimism, hope and generate a lot of goodwill in others. If you do this very sincerely, you will be able to succeed in your career. The basics in this regard are a) concentrate only on learning b) never talk a single negative word c) never talk unnecessarily d) be properly dressed/groomed e) don't introduce yourself to others f) exhibit optimism all the way.

Concentrate only on learning

Let us get this perspective and situation right. You have just got a job of accounts assistant. You have a B.Com degree with a first class. Period. Your experience is zero. You are starting from ground zero. The first week should be spent only on learning. You should voluntarily sit even the extra one hour or so, and learn from the elders. There are people who are more experienced than you. They know much more than you, matters related to organizational policies, the accounting policies, the computerized environment, the different day-to-day problems, the inter-department conflicts and so on. In any case, you must tightly seal your lips and do the minimum talking. Whatever talking you do, should be related only to the job. Repeat, ONLY to the job.

A single comment or even inquiry about canteen, over time, the boss, etc., can land you in deep trouble. Remember, your every move, every aspect of behaviour is being closely watched. Irrespective of whether you work there for one year or less, you should create a very good impression. This is possible only if you show a very big eagerness to learn. At the stroke of 5 PM, a few experienced people may pack up. But not you. Even if there is a single guy left in the office, and he or she is an experienced person, learn something from him or her. For example, if you are given a file containing some vouchers pertaining to suppliers, note down the names of all suppliers, their phone numbers, cell numbers of key people and so on. Your diary will become very useful here.

The first impression can always be created only through your sincere efforts. Please do not underestimate this first experience. The good word always gets spread around. Employers these days, do reference checks with every single previous employer. One single black mark is enough to pull you down so badly.

Never talk a single negative word

If the food in the canteen is not okay, just shut up. Never speak a single negative word. Never comment about restrooms, the office atmosphere and so on. If you sweat because the temperature is so high and you do not have to air-condition in the room, so be it.

Remember, the greatest of people who have achieved success in life, have always achieved success only because of their positive mental attitudes. Sincerity, honesty and dependability are values that you cultivate every day. Make the first week, when you are starting from ground zero, count so much to this process of building good and positive mental attitudes. You need to appreciate the fact that every office, every organization, every boss, will have some issues or problems.

No one is perfect in this world. The ideal job or organization, does not exist, anywhere in the world. If you think that they do in the USA or UK, think again. The fact is that even the mightiest of such organizations in the best of countries have also faced problems. They have also sold several businesses, they have also restructured their businesses and sacked hundreds of thousands of people, overnight. So, do not be under any illusion. The first week is the biggest launching pad for your career. Never ever speak a single negative word in the first one week of your career.

Never talk unnecessarily/ show off

Be very cautious about what you talk. Never ever talk about your personal problems. No one in the office will be interested. Even if someone asks you about it, cut the conversation short and indicate that you are so interested in "move on"s. Your ability to indicate as much, even though appropriate body language, will fetch you very good rewards.

Never show off. You should make it a point to never put on the most expensive scents on you. This can totally put off people. In industrial environs, even if you are posted in HR, such things are never appreciated. You must remember that you are a fresher. Never ever show off at all.

Be properly dressed/groomed

In cities like Mumbai, if there is no uniform in the organization, it is perfectly fine to dress very formally. After the first month or so, I have seen ladies wearing sleeveless blouses with saris or even skirts. However, in the first one week, it is advisable to be dressed either in churidar as far as ladies are concerned. The men ought to the clean-shaven, and excess hair is never advisable or desired in most organizations. The shirt should be neatly tucked in. None of the ladies should ever carry any makeup kit with them. While proper grooming is essential, eyes will immediately lit up if such things are resorted to. You must be properly groomed even you enter the office. That is about all. Never ever wear chappals to the offices. Always wear good quality black shoes only. They ought to be polished every day as well.

Don't introduce yourself to others

In one organization in Mumbai, where I was employed, one Guptha (name changed) introduced himself to a good looking girl in the department next to his own HR department and was seen chatting with her. The head of the Department of Supply Chain Management, who noticed this, never appreciated a person introducing himself and chatting with his staff on day two of his service. He was let off after a severe reprimanding. Such mistakes should never happen.

Please wait till you are introduced to others, even within the same department. If you go overboard, you are bound to earn a bad name. You may have a good personality. You might be smart. Girls may be beautiful. But this is no reason for you to introduce yourself to others, within one week.

Exhibit optimism all the way

Ever single employer and manager, looks for optimists. People who can do more with less. Cut down costs, every day. People who can add value from day one. Jump to these platforms of action. From day one. Even if you notice a single ceiling fan being run with none under it, put it off. If you find scrap anywhere, do not wait for the sweeper to dump it. Do it yourself. Good attitudes are always formed in the first job. In the first week itself. When so many eyes watch you, rest assured that your sincerity and attitudes play a major role in cementing your position in the organization.

All the very best for you.


In life, most things look like codified common sense. Even if this were to be true of most situations and circumstances, even without our knowledge we are destroying the fundamentals of such a nice fabric with our silly behaviours. Some don'ts have been discussed based on real-world observations. Not doing these things and conducting yourself properly, will enable you to launch your career in the proper manner. You would have started in the right direction in your career.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao14 Nov 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 5

It is always, the first impression is the best impression. Your teacher or your boss when sees you for the first time he will try to assess you and make an impression on you. By any chance, if they get a negative impression, your career or prospectus in the education will not be as you have expected. The effect will be more in your career. So we should be very careful till we settle down well and understand the environs well. All the points narrated by the author are very important and pertinent. One important point to be noted is one should not be very near to some persons. We should maintain equal distance with all the employees and all the officers. We should study the files properly and understand the issues properly. If the boss specifically gives a particular job, understand and perform the job well. This will give you a chance for good progress.
After working for 2.5 years in a company, I have shifted to another company. On the next day of joining my boss called me and gave me an exercise. He has given the task as if he doesn't know the answer to that problem. He gave this problem in the evening just before leaving the company for the day. Then he told me we will discuss again the next day morning. That night I spent some time on that issue I could get the answer. The next day morning he called for discussion and I was able to give a proper reply. I had a very good career in that company.
A good article from the author.

Author: Anauj18 Jul 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 12

Helpful article about do's and don'ts for freshers at work. However, I feel a few tips are regressive.

Let's take the case of sleeveless blouses and skirts. It is alright to wear whatever one is comfortable in as long as it complies with the company's policies on dress-code. It is generally the HR who issues orders on dress code and takes actions against those breaking the dress code.

I don't understand the need for a fresher to dress conservatively when a company has no restrictions. It would be a pretence. There is also a chance of the bosses viewing such behaviour as duplicity, especially when the candidate suddenly starts wearing 'modern' clothes to work.

There is nothing wrong with makeup or makeup kits. Some jobs require personnel to be well-groomed and be 'painted'. Some people like to wear makeup, lipstick or some kohl in the eyes and these are allowed in companies.

What is a distraction and should be avoided is going to work dressed as a Christmas tree! Bangles, anklets and flowers in the hair etc. deviate from the corporate look and should be avoided.

Now to introductions. Unless a new-comer is guilty of sexual harassment, there is no harm in introducing yourself to a colleague. Men and women are supposed to work together. It is the closed mindsets that see casual talking between two colleagues as unethical. The HOD acted in an insensitive manner, taking offence to something so trivial and ruined the career prospects of someone outgoing. Such people don't deserve to hold high positions if they allow personal likes and dislikes to influence their judgement.

I would advise youngsters to read through the company guidelines and follow them and speak to the HR about any other clarifications.

Author: Varghese18 Jul 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 10

Very crisp and shine article which will help the freshers to keep up to the office requisites and get a good foothold in the organisation. I would also go with the comments that Juana pointed out and some which I feel can be altered are given below-

1. Concentrate only on learning- One needs to understand and learn all the requirements of the organisation as well as his position that will help him stay ahead in the long run, and this can be achieved only in the first few weeks. But staying long in the office just because others are there is not a good sign. When we have work, we can stay but they should make it a point to be punctual while coming to the office and try to complete the day's task within the time frame. This will help to gain confidence and learn the best.

2. Never talk a single negative word- This is a welcome note as many starts talking negatively about people, environment, work, timing, dressing, etc which needs to be avoided. He can take up this point in the later stage and put up in a better way by not hurting or hinting at a person, i.e. diplomatically.

3. Never talk unnecessarily/show off- Many freshers try to show-off by showing they know more about a thing or the software/tool that the organisation is using. This can go haywire with the seniors. It is better to learn from the seniors first and show interest in learning. The new method or shortcuts can be taught at a later stage.

4. Don't introduce yourself to others- This is a point with which I disagree. If we need to survive, we need help from our colleagues and the majority of seniors would like you to introduce yourself to them if the company HR do not do it. The only point to note is that one need to know the gap one need to maintain. If we talk to the point and show charm in our body language, the self-introduction works. It is not everyone's cup of tea but breaking the ice is the first step of laying good foundation in a company or organisation.

5. I too would like to conclude and request every fresher to go through the policies of the company/ department and also study the job description and clarify any doubt with the HR/seniors for a good and positive growth in any organisation.

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