Developing Your Career


Seven Steps to Start Your New Job with Confidence

By Kristen Leverone on September 30, 2014

When you begin a new job, your opportunity to start off on the road to success begins the moment you first step in the door.  Go in with confidence by first taking time to develop a plan to ensure you’re contributing and adding value as quickly as possible. Consider what steps you’ll need to take to understand your new organization’s culture and avoid clashes that can derail your success.

Here are seven tips for reading the culture, building alliances and aligning expectations so you’re prepared to make an immediate impact in your new role.

  1. Get clarification on expectations.  Know what will be expected in the first 30, 60 and 90 days.  Discuss specific expectations with your boss, a timeline for completion, and how you’ll be evaluated on your performance.
  2. Listen and ask questions.  Set up introductory meetings with key stakeholders to establish collaborative relationships, learn about their roles, and to understand how your role contributes to achieving corporate objectives. Set action items so you have an opportunity to follow up.
  3. Grow your internal network.  Identify the key players in the organization and the keepers of important information so that you can effectively navigate the company in order to facilitate efficiency.
  4. Respect the existing culture. Things will be done differently at your new organization and your first step is to learn how things operate.  Observe how decisions are made, how people communicate and how conflict is handled.
  5. Maintain your visibility.  Continue to introduce yourself to other employees and stay connected with your boss and other management personnel beyond your first meetings.  Schedule follow up calls to review set action items.
  6. Achieve quick wins.  Identify ways you can have an immediate impact and achieve short-term goals to build confidence, establish effectiveness and prove value.
  7. Request feedback and coaching.  Don’t wait for your manager to approach you with feedback. Take the initiative to ask questions, provide updates, and brainstorm ideas.

When you join a new organization, there are so many unknowns that it can be overwhelming.  That’s why it’s important to do more listening than talking.  With a strategy, you’ll soon understand the culture, have a grasp of what’s expected, and be making major contributions.


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