Starting a new job can feel like moving to a new country. Your language skills may be modest. You have little knowledge of the laws, let alone the customs and traditions of the society you are entering. All you have is a passport and the goodwill of management as you enter unfamiliar borders.
1. Get to know your colleagues. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Get a sense of what is said and what is unsaid. You don’t need answers to all of your questions at once. Take your time.
2. Have lunch with different people in the department every day. Learn about the corporate culture and who the leaders are and the unofficial leaders are.
3. Get to know some of the key people in your organization and what matters to them.
4. Get connected with your boss’ objectives and how you fit in to them. What are his/her challenges and how can you help meet them.
5. PLAN. Plan your time and plan how to meet your objectives. Create a schedule that allows you to stay connected with your personal life and your career objectives.
6. Complete a project within your first 60 – 90 days. Keep your boss up-to-date on what you are doing and, if uncertain about something, ask for advice.
7. On the days that you are unsure of yourself, remember the days that you were most successful. Everyone has bad days. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure or that you made a wrong choice to join the firm. Get yourself back on track.
8. Enjoy your successes. Celebrate the victories.
Joining a new firm may initially feel like moving to a new country but with time and effort on your part, you, too, can achieve the success that so many immigrants have.
“The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels” by Michael Watkins is described by Publishers’ Weekly as an “. . . earnest guide to career transition periods-when a new job or promotion puts an employee in an unfamiliar role-asserts, reassuringly, that navigating the all-important first 90 days is a “teachable skill.” Business professor Watkins, co-author of Right From the Start: Taking Charge in a New Leadership Role, lays out a “standard framework” for leadership transitions, based on “five fundamental propositions,” “ten key challenges,” and a four-fold typology of situations that new managers find themselves in.
Fortunately, Watkins balances the theorizing with practical steps managers can take to get on top of things and initiate changes, including elaborate self-assessment checklists, planning exercises and meticulous guidelines on how to have conversations with underlings and bosses. “
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2007