Assimilating Into Your New Position
By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC
Landing your new job is a wonderful experience. In fact, don't forget to celebrate because you definitely deserve it after all your hard work!
After the celebration, write letters or cards to your network of contacts, letting them know about your new position and thanking them for their help. In turn, you should offer them help and support, should they ever need it (and they will, eventually).
The first several weeks in a new job are usually both exciting and filled with a certain amount of anxiety. You may be used to being the "top dog" or expert, and now you're the "new kid on the block." Or, you may suddenly be the guy or gal who knows the least about some new technology, procedure, or "the way we do things around here." Your new relationships and the unfamiliar corporate culture can also be a source of apprehension as you figure out how best to fit into your new environment.
During your career transition process, you've learned a lot about yourself; your strengths, your preferences, and how you're "wired." You've put in the hours and successfully “hired your new employer.” Now is the time and here is the place to maximize the impact of your self-discovery process! Make all those elements you've identified work in your favor.
Start by understanding what your boss's priorities are and what the expectations are for your new position. But before you rush to meet these priorities and expectations, be sure that you also understand the organization's culture, style, and its way of doing things.
Learning from the Past, Building the Future
You can increase your value to your new employer and your chances of long-term success by answering the following questions:
• Do you have skill areas that you can improve upon, as you perform your next job?
• If so, what do you need to learn in order to work more successfully?
• If you were previously laid off or downsized, what can you do differently to make yourself more valuable in THIS job? (Acquire new skills? Develop a better attitude? Take more initiative?)
• How will you follow the trends in the job market in your field?
• Do you know where you want to be in one year, three years, and five years?
• What can you start doing now to help you ultimately reach these goals?
The First 90 Days
Some experts believe you have only 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. You'll either "cut it" or not — in terms of garnering respect, visibility, and credibility in your new position. The precedents you establish in the first 90 days will last for your entire tenure at that organization. So this "thumbprint" period is critically important.
Here are 6 priorities that you should focus on during your first 90 days:
1.Establish positive relationships with your new colleagues and develop good communication habits to maintain those relationships. Be honest, open, friendly, reliable and clear.
2.Develop a reputation for producing tangible results and for keeping commitments. Immediately start a "success file" and track your accomplishments, contributions, and the positive feedback you get from others.
3.Communicate plans, progress, and results to your superiors and to your team. Become known for developing clear goals and completing projects on time and on budget.
4.Begin building your in-house contact network. Cultivate connections with everyone — including the employees above and below your level at the company. 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 solid contacts in a 360-degree arc around you.
5.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 objectives. This will ensure that the job you landed becomes the job you love — because you created it for yourself!
6.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 continuing effectiveness and success.
Landing your new job offers you an incredible opportunity that extends far beyond the position itself. You now have the chance to create an entirely new professional experience for yourself. You can assimilate into the new job with your eyes wide open; fully-conscious of the situation around you and totally capable of handling yourself like a winner.
The focus of your attention should transcend the day-to-day work tasks, as you navigate effectively through the new company’s politics and culture. This is the approach that is so essential — not just to maximize your chances of success within the first 90 days, but also for successful, long-term career management!
Copyright © 2010, 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 © 2010, 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.” For information about career services and products, visit www.careerpotential.com and www.fordmyers.com.
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