You’ve finally landed the job. Is this a good time to settle in and take it easy for a while, or is this the worst time to take your foot off the “career gas pedal?”
A lot of people in this situation might think, “Whew – now I can relax, cruise a while and rest on my laurels.” Actually, your work is just beginning – but so is your “glory!”
Once you’re “on the job,” there are many immediate career challenges to attend to, such as:
- Assimilating into your new position; which includes getting clear on the job’s roles and responsibilities
- Aligning with the company’s business priorities and culture; which includes getting acclimated to the new environment and new faces; asking a lot of questions and just generally “learning the ropes”
- Developing habits of “Perpetual Career Management,” which include:
- Establishing professional credibility and developing productive relationships
- Avoiding your old “blind spots,” leveraging your assets, and planning steps toward advancement * Continuing to work with your Career Coach (if you have one) as your “partner in career success”
Experts such as Michael Watkins believe that you have 90 days in a new job to make your impact and create the permanent impression that people in the organization will have of you and your leadership capabilities.
Having worked with thousands of executives who have successfully secured new positions, in my opinion, there are six priorities that you should focus on during the first 90 days:
- Establish positive relationships with your new colleagues and develop good communication habits to maintain those relationships. Be honest, open, friendly, reliable and clear. Be outgoing and introduce yourself to co-workers (don’t wait for them to approach you).
- Develop a reputation for producing tangible results, for keeping commitments and for meeting deadlines. Immediately start a “success file” and track your accomplishments and contributions. Make note of the positive feedback you get from others in conversation and in writing – from clients, managers, clients, colleagues, vendors, etc.
- Communicate plans and progress to your superiors and to your team. Become known for setting challenging goals and completing projects on-time and on-budget – with measurable results.
- Begin building your own in-house contact network. Cultivate good relationships with everyone – including the employees above and below your level. Get to know people’s names. Reach out to the mail guy, the security guard, the IT guru, your manager’s executive assistant – everyone! You want business friends and supporters in a 360-degree arc around you.
- Review and fine-tune your job description with your manager. Make sure to also sit down during those first 90 days and create an “individual development plan” for yourself and your role, which includes your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. This is critical to ensure that the job you landed becomes the job you love.
- Maintain a healthy balance between your work life and your private life. Make sure that you don’t “go overboard” with your enthusiasm for your new job. Family time, hobbies and “recharging your batteries” are all part of your long-term professional effectiveness and success.
In summary, you must focus on garnering respect, visibility and credibility during your first 90 days on the job. The precedents you establish during this period will tend to last for your entire tenure at that organization. So this “thumbprint period” is critically important to your long-term success!
Copyright © Career Potential, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © Career Potential, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” Download your free career success gifts now at http://www.careerbookbonuses.com.