How to introduce yourself at a new job

By Alison Doyle

Whether you’re the new kid on the block at a company of 5 people or 50, introductions can be difficult. However, properly introducing yourself is a very important to step in building both professional and personal relationships with your coworkers. 

You should first find out if your hiring manager is planning on sending out an email or introducing you in a team meeting. Then you will know your next steps, but ultimately it should be up to the human resources department or your supervisor to initiate early introductions. If he or she doesn’t follow through, then you’ll know you’ll need to take matters into your own hands. 

 Don’t be afraid to ask for a round of introductions

Don’t be afraid to ask to be introduced. If you haven’t been introduced to everyone already, don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor if he or she is willing to introduce you to people you will be working with. You can broach it casually, so as not to sound demanding or upset. Just say, “I’ve started getting a feel for who works here and who I’ll be working with, but I’m still a little unclear. Think you’d have 10 minutes or so for a round of introductions this morning?”

 How to introduce yourself

In a casual workplace, you may need to introduce yourself. If your supervisor is inaccessible, use your common sense (or ask around) to figure out who you will likely be interfacing with and then introduce yourself to them in person if possible. If you work at a small company, it should be relatively easy to figure out who you’ll be collaborating with on a day-to-day basis.

Once you establish that much, be sure to introduce yourself in person, and be as friendly and as engaging as possible. Your introduction can be simple: you should, of course, state your name and the role you are taking on. It can also be helpful to share a tidbit of your experience (like where you last worked and what you did there) so your co-workers can get a sense of your perspective and processes.

The elevator pitch you may have used when job searching, will work well for quick introductions.

 Ask for an organization chart

You can also request an organization chart from human resources. This will give you a a clear idea of who you will be reporting to, who you will be managing and who you will be working with laterally. If you work at a large company, the structure of your organization may not be immediately clear.

Don’t be afraid to approach your contact in human resources to ask if he or she can provide an ‘org chart’ so you can get a sense of who you’ll be reporting to, and who you might be managing.

 Acknowledge everyone in your workplace

Pay special attention to important relationships – but don’t ignore people who you think you’ll have nothing to do with. Ask your supervisor who you will be interfacing with most often and take extra care to make a good impression.

Make yourself available for any questions they might have about you, and be receptive to any feedback or insight they might have on your role and your future working relationship. It might even be a good idea to ask coworkers who you’ll work with closely to get a coffee, lunch or a drink after work to get to know them in a slightly less formal setting.

At the same time, start off on a good foot and make an effort to acknowledge everyone in your workplace, even if it’s just with a smile and a “hello.”

 Send a follow up email

When you meet someone, send a follow-up email. Although you don’t have to follow up with every single individual, after you are introduced to people who you will be working with closely, it’s always a good idea to send along a note.

It doesn’t have to be complicated:

“Hi Susan, it was great to meet you today! Thank you for the background information you provided.

I look forward to working with you in the future and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you can think of anything else that would be useful to me or if you have any questions.”

 Don’t be offended if you aren’t introduced to everyone

No matter the size of your company, it’s possible that you won’t be introduced to the “higher-ups” right away. Don’t take it personally. People are busy and depending on their status in the company, they may not even be aware (or involved in) the hiring process below them.

That being said, if there’s someone you feel you need to meet, whether they’re someone who will be making decisions about your pay and promotions later on, is in your department or important to getting your work done, or was involved in your interview process, don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor or human resources contact and ask for, at the least, an email introduction.

Starting a new job can be stressful. After all, on top of having a new job to do, you’re meeting new people, and you’re learning about your role in a new company. The more you prepare, the less stressful starting out will be.

This article first appeared at The Balance.