Things to Do When You Start a New Job: A Checklist
Yeah! You got a new job after all the hard work you put into your job search. You’re eager to get going and hopeful this new job will be something you love for a very long time.
It’s true that what happens in the first few months after you start a new job can often be the determining factor for your success and happiness. That means starting out strong and smart is definitely what you want to do to get the kind of traction for long-term success.
To get off to a good start, go through this list and check them off once completed:
Find Out What Your Job REALLY Is
Sure, you probably have a good idea of what your job entails, but only on very vague terms. Each company does things differently, and you can only grasp what the job is at a high level during the interview. Get different perspectives starting with your new boss and the various players you will interact with. Ask again in another month; you’d be surprised at how much more you’ll learn. (Like this thought? Tweet it!) Even if your company has a formal integration plan for you, this is your top priority.
Find Out How You Will Be Measured
This is almost the biggest missing piece for most people. You own your career, and therefore it’s your responsibility to find out not only what the performance standards are but are clear on how you will be measured. It’s not enough to know what your duties are; you need clarity on what you’re shooting for.
Identify Players, Position and Process
A big part of working at any place is understanding how the various cogs work and your place in that process. Knowing who to go to for what sort of things is a vital part of getting your job done well.
It’s easy to lose sight of one very big aspect to your job, and that is the “touchy-feely” of building relationships with the people you work with. Eighty percent of your success will be dependent upon your relationships, and that includes the one with your boss. You don’t need to turn everyone into your BFF; that isn’t realistic, anyway. You do need to have a good-sized group of supportive people who have your back, and visa versa.
Plan to Learn
While this sounds obvious, it seems the more experience a person has, the more apt they are to think they know everything — even with a new job. All jobs are different, no matter what. Even if you simply got promoted at the same place of business, you need to approach it in the spirit of learning, because you are learning. You will also impress people that you are eager and open to learn. Besides, no one likes people who think they know it all.
Plan for an Early Win
It’s not logical that you will be very productive in the first month as you learn your job and how your company works. However, you do want to be on alert to one thing you can accomplish in the first few months that will be big enough to demonstrate to everyone they made a good choice in hiring you. Of course, it needs to be within the definition of your job scope, but usually there are some big, hairy issues that are just waiting for someone to tackle.
Ask for Feedback
There is a balance between not asking and acting insecure. You need to occasionally ask for feedback both from your boss and your peers. Don’t settle for vague responses like “you’re doing fine.” You can get the best feedback with good questions like: “Do you see any issues with the XYZ I just handed you?” or “What would you like to see me do differently?” People are always reluctant to tell you something negative, so if you set the discussion up for constructive information, you could get a few nuggets that will help you course correct, if needed.
The first impression we make in a new job is more than it is in an interview. You have about 3 months to learn your job and establish “who you are.” Each one of these items will ensure a strong, lasting foundation for a good career track
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