First Steps to Success in Your New Job
The first thing to ask is why they hired you?
What do they need you to do? How does that compare with what your predecessor did? You can’t assume that you were hired to do what your predecessor did–frequently people are hired to do more or do it better or do it different. Go back to the job description that was posted. Look at it through new eyes–eyes that aren’t trying to figure out how to get all the keywords from it onto your resume. What would it take to be really successful at that job? Can you tell? If not, ask the decision makers who chose you what would it take to be successful at the job. Ask them why they chose you for the job–what did they see that gave them assurance you could do it. Do this carefully. You don’t want to come across as bewildered by their choice. You want to validate their choice by being extremely focused on delivering successfully and reassuring them by asking questions that focus on what success would be through their eyes.
What does your boss need you to accomplish?
Look at it through your boss’ eyes. What does s/he need you to accomplish? What does s/he need to have happen so s/he can be successful? How can you help him/her achieve success in his/her job? Take the time and energy to look at you and your deliverables in the context the organization and of your boss’ deliverables.
What is the power structure in your organization?
Who are the four or five most powerful people in your organization? Where are you positioned in relation to them? Where is your boss positioned? When you look at yourself, your position, your department through the eyes of the power structure, what do they want you to accomplish? How do you support their agenda with your deliverables.
What do successful people in the organization
- Act like?
- Look like?
- Seem like?
What are your personal goals for your new job?
Why did you take this job? What do you hope to get out of this job? What do you want to learn? What do you want to be able to do next because you took this job? What visibility do you want? What improvements do you want to your reputation because of this job?
Next: Make a Plan
Based on the answers to the questions above, come up with a plan that addresses them:
- How are you going to make sure you accomplish the key deliverables
- That they hired you for
- That serve your boss’ needs
- That gratify the power structure
- That deliver your personal career goals
- Who do you need to know? Who do you need to partner with? Which people in the organization have access to the resources, skills, knowledge and systems that you need to deliver successfully?
- How do you connect with these people?
- How do you extend the relationship from acquaintance to partner?
- What do you have to leverage these relationships.
- What alliances can your create?
- How do you manage your image?
- Image is not WHO you are. Image is the perception that other people have of you. What do you need to do to create/improve the image you need in this organization?
- Your plan should include:
- What do you need to accomplish in what time frame (early, quick wins should happen within 30 days–first impressions are critically important.
- For each thing that you need to accomplish, who do you need help from?
- How are you going to cement the relationships you need to be successful?
- What will you do to build the networks you need in the organization?
- How will you manage your boss?
- What will you deliver to help your boss?
- How will you find a mentor to help you understand how to succeed in the organization?
- How will you learn the unwritten rules in the organization?
- How will you measure your success?
- How often will you evaluate your progress? (Weekly isn’t too often, monthly probably isn’t often enough.)
A new job is a tremendous opportunity to take control of your career and to begin to learn to master your own success.