Starting a new job is usually an unnerving ordeal, no matter what stage of your career. The first few days (weeks and even months) can feel like one big game of catch-up, and you tend to have to rely on others more heavily than you’d like. As a careerist, it got me thinking: What are some of the most important things you can do on a new job immediately to create a solid foundation for success?
A new poll conducted by Monster asked participants what would help them excel on day one of a new job. Sixty-four percent of respondents said understanding the expectations of their new role; 27% said learning more about the company/organization and other departments they’d be working with; 6% said getting to know their team; and slightly less than 1% said finding friends and allies.
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Good news: Instead of completely relying on your employer to get you up to speed when you’re new on the job, there are several actions you yourself can take to ramp up quickly in your role.
1. Understand your role in both the department and organization as a whole. Aside from learning the ropes of the company and getting set up with technology, one necessary action you must take when you start a new job is getting a meeting on you boss’s calendar. Leverage this time to get clarification with regards to expectations. How can you best help your team? How does your role fit within the organization? Where is the company headed? You probably asked these questions in your job interview, but this is your chance to ask your boss to expand on the answers. Ask if the job description you interviewed for remains intact, or if it’s since changed. Treat day one of your new job like an extension of your job interview to help you get a preview of what’s to come.
2. Set your goals. Together with your boss, determine what success looks like for you in this role. Set clear, quantifiable goals to achieve within the first three months and six months, and plot a path to tackle them.
3. Find out about mentoring and training. Be sure to ask if there’s someone at the company who can mentor you early on to help you get your footing. Some companies also offer on-the-job training and/or special courses you can take. Inquire further about resources that may be available to you. It’s one thing for your boss to say, “Yes, there’s training I want you to attend in four months.” It’s your responsibility to follow through. Ask for a link to the training and instructions for how to expense any costs.
4. Meet with other departments. Similarly to speaking with your boss to discover how your role fits into the organization as a whole, identify other internal departments tangential to your job. Introduce yourself to your new colleagues and over lunch or coffee. Ask them about their roles in the big picture of the company. The more time you spend building a foundation for your new job with a clear understanding of your role and how others fit into it as well, the more equipped you are to hit the ground running.
This article was written by Vicki Salemi from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.