Ok, so after months, maybe longer, of major efforting in a difficult economy, you have landed a new job or a promotion! Congratulations! Take some time to bask in the glow, but not too much time, because now the real work
Some companies have an on boarding process that helps the new hire fit in. Most don’t. So don’t rely on luck to avoid an epic fail! Most failures are largely due to avoidable mistakes during the first 90 days on the job. Sometimes this is due to poor performance but more often it is due to employees not
fitting in because they don’t “get“ the work culture.
So before you show up for your first day on the new job, it is crucial to understand how to avoid pitfalls that could lead to a quick exit! We know that first impressions are quick to form and difficult to change, so make sure the first impression of you is a good one!
1) Understand the most important duties
of the job and your boss’s view of the priorities of
Most job descriptions have multiple responsibilities. Your first duty is to understand the key priorities. Ask your new boss how he or she views your job. What parts of your job description are most critical to achieving success? How will your progress and performance be measured?
Once you have a clear grasp of your duties and priorities, take a step back on a regular basis and evaluate your performance. Don’t wait for a formal evaluation. If you find you have been overwhelmed and distracted from key duties, refocus your efforts. Avoiding feedback from your boss can be tempting however, it pays to check in periodically. Asking “Are we on track?” can be helpful.
2) Be prepared to do things differently!
No matter how many years you have worked in an industry or in a similar position, don’t assume the way you’ve done things in the past is the way your current employer wants you to do things now. Talk to people in your department to get a sense of how work gets done. You’ll want to soak up everything, from the way reports get done to social customs.
3) Know who really matters.
Despite the quality of your work, you could end up with a target on your back if you fail to realize which superiors you need to please.
4) Make friends, fast!
The relationships you build with new colleagues can often be the most important factor in determining your success and longevity. In your first 90 days, try to have lunch or coffee with two coworkers a week. Approach them in a casual, friendly, authentic way rather than as a competitive climber with an agenda! Always say yes to an invitation!
Don’t avoid after work events that foster bonding. You may be tempted to avoid these gatherings as you don’t know anyone that well, but this could be perceived in a negative way by your peers. They may get the idea that you don’t like them or that you are not a team player! So make an effort to attend.
5) Under promise, over deliver!
Most of us are gung ho and primed for action on a new job. Be careful what you commit to during your first 90 days. Be realistic about managing the expectations of your boss, your colleagues, and yourself.
6) Be a detective at staff meetings.
It is important to listen, observe and ease into the corporate culture. One way to do this is by paying attention how meetings are run. It will give you a sense of the unofficial alliances and hierarchies. Keeping a close watch on what other staffers say and do at meetings will familiarize you with the communication style. Be attentive, supportive, curious and earn the right to participate. Show deference and hold back on criticism. If you are not skilled at “reading the room”, a tool such as the Bolton Social Styles Assessment can be useful.
7) Keep balanced.
Don’t forget the other priorities in your life- your family, your friends, your health and your hobbies. If the other facets of your life
are not in alignment, there is no way you will prosper or find fulfillment in your new job!