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Forge a flying start

Published on Friday, 02 Aug 2013
Marc Burrage

With contract roles becoming a more popular option in Hong Kong, our candidates often ask us how they can make a good impression quickly in a new role.

Most of the time, people just turn up to a new role with the intention of doing their best. However, a bit of forethought can provide the action that you need to support that intention.

Before a role starts, one of the first things you should do is a personal stock take. A new job is an opportunity to review your habits and personal attributes - retain those that serve you and toss out those that don't.

Once in a new company, it is vital to memorise people's names. Sketch a seating plan of your area and put people's names in the various positions. Greet colleagues by name and use them when conversing to help embed this information.

Remember to stay focused on what's important. Keep your job description handy and review it as you are getting up to speed. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. You are in a learning phase, so you are expected to ask questions or for an instruction to be repeated. Your manager has a busy job to do, so don't expect him or her to remember to tell you everything you need to know.

One vital rule is to listen, listen, listen. In the early stages, you should be listening a great deal more than talking. Make sure you take good notes.

Above all, you must be quick to observe, slow to judge. Don't make any snap judgments about people or situations. It is also important to remember to steer clear of any office politics and walk away from any conversation that sounds suspiciously like gossip.

Marc Burrage, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong

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