You laughed (a little too hard) at the jokes, even if they were lame, clung (a little too tightly) to every word that was uttered and tried maybe too hard to dazzle with your vast knowledge and skill. Certainly the combination of your undying attention and fantastic talents brewed a match made in heaven, right?
By the same token, your first few days at a new job can be intimidating — just like a first date — and similarly inspire you to try hard, maybe too hard.
Sometimes, when we want something or someone so badly, we let our desperation show: and that ultimately blows our chances to land that great significant other, awesome job — or well-deserved promotion.
Making a good impression with a new crush is similar to what many try to do at a new job, whether trying to assimilate with co-workers or dazzle the boss.
How can you impress your new team without being annoying?
1. Lean in hard — but stay on task
When you start a new job you want to show your co-workers and manager you are an indispensable agent who can not only be a champion in your own department but companywide.
"Mastering your job and responsibilities as they apply to your position, especially during those initial months, [is] great," Glassdoor community expert Scott Dobroski said by phone.
But if you are new and trying to be that rock star employee — beyond your job and department — it can backfire.
"There is nothing is wrong with going above and beyond because that’s how you grow and learn," he said, "but trying to jump into other areas, beyond your immediate job and department, can come off as unprofessional and unfocused."
Many employees may feel if they don’t fully assimilate to the new company quickly, they won’t make a good impression. However, the notion of "hitting the ground running" is hogwash, said Dick Grote, performance management consultant to the Harvard Business Review.
With "high-level employees transitioning within a company, research indicates they feel they add value by about six months," he said. "But if you’re coming into a challenging job from outside the company, it may take a year."
Rushing to top speeds as a new employee typically results in a crash, Grote said. "You know what happens if you do that? You fall on your face," he said.
2. Avoid gossip and promote positivity
You might feel tempted (or pressured) to get in on the inside jokes, especially if some of your colleagues seem a little catty. But you are better off tuning out the noise — and remaining professional, on task and on topic if you want to impress your new boss and coworkers, Dobroski said.
Becoming the office gossip, no matter your intentions, is a real career killer and will definitely not impress anyone.
"I've heard stories from employers about how new hires will want to know the intimate details of other employees’ roles, responsibilities and personal lives," Dobroski said. "This behavior comes off gossipy and highly unprofessional."
Beyond just asking questions about a co-worker’s personal lives, putting a negative twist on addressing someone else's work can also reflect poorly on you.
"For instance, one of the vice presidents in your company doesn't check email and you have sent him or her an email three times about a time sensitive project, but haven’t received a response," Dobroski said. "Instead of calling out the vice president for not returning your email, ask your boss or co-worker what might be a better way to get in touch."
That way you can hopefully meet your deadline — without souring newly forming relationships.
What if you are trying to remain above the fray in an overly gossipy office environment? Consider not responding when confronted with gossip and then ask about a work or task-centric topic that isn’t related to the gossip, Victor Lipman, author and contributor, wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
Once people get the message you aren’t interested in gossip, co-workers won’t continue to try to suck you in for more, he said.
3. Prioritize punctuality
While this should be a no-brainer, being on time throughout your career is important if you want your superior and co-workers to take you seriously.
"Of course people are late from time to time, and sometimes being occasionally late is unavoidable," Dobroski said. "However, in its simplest form, being consistently late shows a lack of professionalism and is disrespectful."
Adding insult to injury are those who make excuses for chronic lateness, especially if they are new. You're inviting negative assumptions about your dedication, as Time wrote.
This includes colleagues who roll into a meeting 10 minutes tardy because they clearly stopped for coffee first — or the late liars who text that they are on their way (when they are not) or make up some unrealistic disaster that prevented them from making it on time.
"Everyone has one of those mornings where the alarm clock didn't go off or train was late," Jill Jacinto, millennial expert and associate director of communications for Works, which helps career women, said to Glamour. "But if that is happening every morning, your boss will take notice — and he or she won't like it."
If you struggle to be on time, Diana DeLonzor, author of the 2002 book Never Be Late Again, said to the Huffington Post to focus on the behaviors that prevent you from being prompt. Perhaps it's finding the right outfit in the morning.
Once you've pinpointed the problem, address it with a simple solution: such as deciding on what to wear in the morning the night before.
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