Securing a new job is akin to a successful product launch. All that time spent running a well-organized marketing campaign and now the product is in the market. Well… you’ve landed your new job! As in the product launch, you want to continually work on product positioning and posturing for long-term success, right? Likewise, you want to do so for your long-term career success. Starting your new job on the right foot involves a little research and some focused effort on your part.
1. Get To Know The Company’s Key Players
Producing long-term results is more important than an immediate impact. Depending on the company and the reason for your hire, you will have a settling-in period anywhere from 30-90 days. Use that time wisely and get to know people and their roles; network; build alliances, and so on.
2. Remember Names
And always with a smile. It’s important to always project a positive attitude. Most people when introduced to others immediately forget names. If this happens to you, look them straight in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, could you tell me your name again,” and then practice using it once or twice a week – it’s also flattering.
3. Do Not Overdo Conversation
Your weekend, evening, lunch is always, “Very good” quickly followed by, “and how was yours?” People ask, but they aren’t necessarily interested in more than that. If they get more than that before they really know you they will steer away the next time.
4. Observe How The Company Gets Things Done
This includes the company’s management style, your boss’ management style; leadership; company culture. Become a student of your managers and their leaders. I once heard said, “The best classroom is at the feet of an elder.” The bell has rung; so now take a seat and really pay attention.
5. Be A Class Act
Don’t get drawn into the chitter-chatter of gossipers. Smile, nod in agreement if you must, but do not gossip. If you do, people will not put their trust in you. Practice being a good listener and consider everything you hear, even if it plainly is gossip, as if it were most private. Bite your tongue and you won’t go wrong.
6. Gain The Confidence Of Others
Give credit to others up and down the line. Be humble when given credit and say only, “Thank you.” For the first few weeks defer to others for advice; defer to your boss’s lead. After you have gained the confidence of your boss and others, maybe 30-60 days, you can start making recommendations.
7. Keep Your Boss Informed
This too is part of gaining his/her confidence. Make a point of asking a couple of questions from time to time. Be careful not to phrase your questions in a manner that sounds like you are prematurely criticizing people or procedure.
8. Show Your Boss You Are Serious
State your intentions within the confines of the job as it is currently described (save “posturing” for after the first 30-60 days). On your first day, arrange a series of short meetings for over the course of a few weeks to ensure both of you remain on the same page; and your actions support both your objectives and his/hers.
9. Schedule And Subsequently Plan For Your Review
In the meantime, keep a diary of what you see that can be improved, changed, accomplished and NEVER share this with co-workers – someone might steal your ideas or shun you for having some.
10. Keep Your Resume Updated
From day one, be mindful and any and all your accomplishments, even the most subtle: situations you were in; opportunities you saw; actions you took; and the results! In doing so, you will be better prepared for your first review, just as you had been for your interview. You will be forearmed with the information you will need to take an active part in the outcome of the review. Since most employers take a very passive approach to reviews, this tact will likely be most appreciated.
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