It’s the night before you start your new job. You’re feeling excited about your new role and probably anxious about how to make a good impression. You’re wondering how to smoothly settle in and hit the ground running and make the first 90 days count.
Give yourself a head start by preparing yourself well in advance.
1. Express your enthusiasm early on
Once you’ve accepted the role, contact the hiring manager and your human resources contact. Let them know you are looking forward to getting on board and convey your enthusiasm for the new role.
2. Connect on LinkedIn with those you’ve met during the selection process
Make sure your profile is as strong as it can be as others within your team will probably check out your profile before you turn up on your first day.
3. Create a 30, 60 and 90-day plan with your new manager
This will give you a map to follow during your initiation into the company and the expectations of your role. Having measurable benchmarks developed with the organisation’s business goals in mind will help you greatly with clear direction. Ensure you understand how your success will be measured so you will know where to focus your attention initially and in the longer term.
4. Identify the resources you need to do your job early on
This will be anything from office supplies, phone and mobile connection to the technology required to get things done. Get to know the administration and technical support team as you will need them. There are always individuals within any company who can help you get things done because of their workplace knowledge or their relationships with key people within the organisation. Find out who those people are and develop a relationship with them as they will be the people who can help when you are stuck.
5. Look for ways to make a difference even in the early days
Of course it’s important to develop good working relationships very early on; however, while you are doing so, see where you can pick the low hanging fruit and get some wins on the board. After the first 30 days, it will be time to demonstrate the value that you bring.
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6. Always show respect for the people and events that have come before you
It’s wise to ask questions that show appreciation for current employees and respect for those who came before you. Be very tactful, especially in the early days, even if you believe you completely understand the political landscape of the organisation. You won’t really know who’s who in the zoo until you’ve been there a while.
‘To a person who has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’
7. Check in with your manager every week or two to make sure you are on track
As you learn more from your stakeholders you will be able to manage expectations. Always be willing to ask for your manager’s help if you need it.
8. Stay positive
There will be good days, better days and some days when you may feel a little disappointed. The first couple of weeks will see you transitioning from excitement about the new role to the reality of the day-to-day routine and challenges. Displaying energy and enthusiasm for the role will benefit your reputation amongst your colleagues.
A new role can be quite stressful, so give yourself time to settle in and know that no one is perfect. Make the effort to understand the way things work and always be willing to ask questions and listen to the answers.
Whether you’re changing roles within an organisation or joining a new one, you will need to learn new skills for success.
As Professor Sattar Bawany, CEO and Master Executive Coach, Centre for Executive Education says, “Executives in a new role confront the need to adapt to new business models and organisational cultures, and to build supportive networks. The biggest trap they may fall into is to believe they will continue to be successful by doing what has made them successful in the past. There is an old saying: ‘To a person who has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’ New leaders must focus first on discovering what it will take to be successful in the new role, then discipline themselves to do the things that don’t come naturally if the situation demands it.“
Follow these tips and you’ll hit the ground running in your new role!
Jane is the host of YOUR CAREER Podcast on iTunes.
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