How to be successful at a new job
So what’s next?
A new job is always new territory whether you just got out of college, have been in the workforce for 20 something years or even just got promoted to a new position. Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure you succeed at your new position. In order to do this, you have to focus on laying a foundation to ensure outstanding success within 90 days, as there is an unspoken rule that the first 3 months in your new position is an extension of the interview process and can very well determine how long you will get to stay in that position.
A new job_ aside the opportunity to meet new people, develop current and learn new skills and also earn more money_ also comes hand in hand with a need to prove yourself all over again, which in itself is a really daunting process.
To make this transition a smooth ride, we’ve put together 10 essential strategies to help you succeed at your new job.
- Define what success means to you
Within the first month at your new job, it is best to explicitly define what success means to you. This is very important as it sets the tone on how you will utilise your skills, understand and bolster your weaknesses and also help you recognise when it’s time to move on to something else. You can actually itemise how much you’ve grown, what opportunities to look out for, as well as how much impact you have made to the company.
To do this,
- Review your job description as this outlines your duties as well as your key performance indices or deliverables.
- In the first meeting with your direct boss, do not be afraid to confirm what is expected of you, find out how success at your role will be measured over what time frame.
- Get to know the people
While this is not something that can be achieved in a day, it is imperative that within the first week at your new job, you get to know at least 80% of the people you’d be working with.
Humans are social creatures and interacting with others is a necessary. Therefore, it is vital that you at least take note of your team/department members (even if you are introverted) and others you’ll be collaborating with in the coming months. You don’t have to strive or force yourselves to be friends on the go, but try to build some rapport. Building strong relationships with your colleagues will benefit both your social and professional life.
As the month progresses, try to go beyond just names and faces. Get a bigger understanding of their roles and responsibilities and where you fit into that.
- Get to know your work place
It’s great that you did some research before applying for that vacant role. However, now that you’re in, the research doesn’t end!
Aside getting to know your role, take out time to understand the general processes and structure of operations in the company (ranging from your immediate team, to department and overall company).
Typical questions to answer include:
- What are the company’s values, mission or vision?
- How does the public see the company? What do they represent? What does the company seek to achieve?
- Who are their clients and/or customers? What problems do they help them solve?
- What are the rules of office etiquette? Formal or informal? Etc.
Answering these questions help to clearly understand how you can internalise their company culture or simply put, how you will fit into the company’s ecosystem.
- Be organised and Have a Plan
While this may not be a popular tip, it is important to note that within the first 3 months at your new job, you should have drafted a goal plan. With a goal plan, you clearly outline your objectives and/or goals (personal and professional). It also provides guidelines on how you will carry out your duties and responsibilities so that you are able to effectively deliver on your key performance indices. It should contain your tasks, deadlines, milestones, actions to take and check-lists to achieving your goals. This goal plan should also help you set boundaries and help you identify the limits you are willing to go in order to get work delivered on time and add value to the company.
- Be Humble and Open minded
It is understandable that you’ve been selected from a pool of other applicants to fill a vacant position because you possess top skills and aptitude that suit the company’s needs. However, to succeed at your new position, it will be best if within your first three months_ and beyond that_ you be humble and have an open mind to learn from those who are already on the job. This leaves a good impression and boosts your relationship with others. Also, it helps pave a smooth path to facilitate success at your job and work place.
- Ask questions
An old African proverb states that “he who asks questions, does not lose his way”. To succeed at your new job, it is necessary that you cultivate the habit of asking questions. Whatever you don’t understand about your role, your team, department or the company as a whole, asking questions will make things clearer and help prevent you from making mistakes that will deter you from delivering on your KPIs.
- Find a Mentor
This might take a while. You should keep in mind that a mentor doesn’t always have to be an elderly person. However, it will be expedient to your growth and performance at your new job that you have someone who holds you accountable. This is a person who guides you on the processes in the company and how to better implement your skills. A mentor is also a person you can go to when you need career advice.
- Never forget that you are part of a team
While you were employed to fill a role, and in most cases work independently, it’ll be good to not forget that you’re still a part of a team. You are now part of a system and your actions can tell on your colleagues. If you have ideas, you will leave a better impression if you shared some with your team mates. This is all part of laying a strong foundation for lasting relationships within your first 3 months and ultimately helping you succeed at your new job.
- Work to show yourself credible
By now you’ve gotten a general hang of what you are to do, the people you are working with and the general structure and processes of your company etc. You must now pull out your skills to get things done. Ensure to deliver on your KPIs and deliver before the stipulated deadline. Try to avoid giving excuses, apologizing too much or gossiping. Obey the office rules and etiquette and show discipline even if it’s in a casual work place.
- Take it to the next level/Seek to Add Value
Leaving good impressions isn’t just about making others feel good about you. It has a lot to do with adding value to the lives of those you meet. To succeed at your new job, adding value to those around you will not only leave good karma, it will help you greatly as you proceed in your career.
Some helpful tips include; getting proactive go out of your way sometimes and volunteer to help out in others projects. Be observant and take note of the pain points your team and your boss is facing and work up ways to fix them.
There you have it! 10 essential strategies to help you succeed at your new job and ultimately set you up on a steady growth incline in both your personal and professional life.