You got the job! You’ve spent the past few weeks, months, or maybe even years polishing your resume and submitting applications. You’ve sat through countless interviews and, finally, all of your hard work paid off. Take this moment to pat yourself on the back for going through one of the most stressful processes in an adult’s life.
Though the hardest part may be over, there’s still some work ahead of you. When you start a new job, your new employer should be providing a thorough onboarding process and appropriate training (but don’t be surprised if this doesn’t happen). Hopefully, they will also make you feel welcome and appreciated. And what are you responsible for? Better yet, what actions can you take to stand out of the crowd as a new hire?
Here are a few prudent steps you can take to set yourself up for success when starting a new job.
[Really] Get to Know Your Team
The days of sitting in a circle and telling the group “one fun fact about yourself” are long gone. Try to learn as much about your team as possible, at an individual and group level.
On one hand, knowing the pain points, struggles, strong suits, and dynamics of your team will help you understand your role and how you fit into the equation. On the other hand, showing interest in your fellow team members also builds trust and respect.
Build Relationships Outside of Your Team
Most companies require some sort of cross-functional work between different teams and departments. If you’ve ever worked at a business that has multiple departments, you also know the competitive struggle that comes along with this sometimes.
Reaching out to understand and befriend other departments in your company will come in handy if you need a favor from the Marketing team at 4pm on Friday. It also shows that you are a team player with solid leadership skills. At the end of the day, the whole company’s success is your success too.
Repeat after me: you are not expected to know everything when you start a new job. Ask thoughtful questions. Ask them often. You may have plenty of industry experience, maybe you’ve even had this exact job before, but that doesn’t mean you have to come in on day one understanding the ins and outs of your new employer.
We may forget this sometimes, but asking questions is a sign of intelligence. It also shows that you care about doing your job correctly. This will prove as evidence that hiring you was a good decision, and your supervisor will take notice.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Being a new hire means that you should strive to impress, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a martyr. Setting healthy boundaries early on in a new job will allow you to show up fresh every day while you are still learning the ropes.
The most common boundary issues that employees encounter when they start a job are related to time and responsibility. Showing up to work two hours early and staying two hours late is a quick way to become resentful of your new job. Taking on too much work and responsibility in an effort to impress your team is a path to dropping the ball early on in your new role.
Settling into a new job successfully is a long game. Come to work on-time, leave at an appropriate time, and be patient in taking on a bigger workload. Go home and take care of yourself and your family. You have plenty of time to show your employer that you’re a rockstar.
Create a 30/60/90 Day Plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Creating a 30/60/90 day plan when starting a new job has shown to be a highly effective way to set yourself up for professional success. You can use this plan as a guide to provide value to your new employer and establish yourself as a leader.
Your goal for the first 30 days of your new job should be to learn as much as possible. During this ramping up phase talk to your team and other departments to understand opportunities for improvement. Study your company’s vision, mission, and strategic plans. Have a one-on-one with your new boss about their expectations of you. Identify key stakeholders and their agendas, especially those that might be a little bit hidden.
Equipped with the knowledge you gained in the first 30 days, you can now demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Show your colleagues and manager how you can help close gaps between where they are and their goals. You can achieve quick wins simply by being as helpful as possible. By day 60, you should use the information you have gathered to add to processes and make small necessary changes in your company.
At 90 days of employment, you should be able to create a robust plan for the next month, quarter, and year that addresses the major opportunities for growth or improvement at your employer. Make sure to include a way to measure and track your success. Use your skills in relationship building and buy-in to gain alignment on your plan with your team and other departments, as needed. This is a fantastic time to make a great impression as a leader.
Starting a new job can be stressful and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! Use this guide to confidently establish yourself as a game changer for your new employer.
Looking to set yourself up for success in your new job but not sure where to start? I’d love to help. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get a conversation started.