Getting the job was half the battle, now you have to let them know how you move. Let’s talk about how to impress your new employer in the first 30 days.
First of all ayyyyyeeee… You’ve secured the bag sis, congratulations! But, how do you hold on to it for the long haul? The Job market must be looking good because more than a few of my girlfriends (including myself) have gotten new jobs with a nice pay bump. We really need to have a “new money” party.
We’re excited, feeling motivated, and extra boss but let’s not get too carried away, how we navigate the first 90 days can determine how the rest of the tenure goes. But before we get to 90 days, let’s work on the now… the first month.
You may be asking yourself WHY are we talking about this? Why is this important? Well, first of all, it’s a fresh start! These people don’t know you and they HOPE they made the right choice in hiring you. No next steps are being mapped out, your only focus is to be able to do the thing they hired you for right now. The impressions you make on your boss, immediate team and outside teams right now set the tone for the next few years. They are trying to access if you are gonna be a rock star that they are going to want to promote to keep or are you going to be a person that fades into the background or at worse…doesn’t last at all. Plus, we always want to be moving to the next step, next title, next tax bracket, this is where the tone of all of that growth is set. All eyes are on you and girl…shine! Let the view be magical.
Ok you are with me now, right? So let’s talk about HOW we are gonna make it happen?
Basics. Let’s just get this out of the way for those who do not know (we have all levels of professionals here so let’s start at 101). The folks at the new job, don’t know you. You may not even be the first person they hired to fill your position. The other girl, who didn’t hack it, may have left a sour taste in people’s mouth. You really never know but you have to air on the side of excellence.
- Get sleep. This is not the time for your grumpy morning antics. Get the sleep you need to be alert, happy, positive. Again, you’re a stranger right now. People may not get that you had a bad morning, they will take it that your just a negative person.
- Be on time (early if possible) and leave on time. You have not built up the trust to be straggling in late and leaving early like the rest of the team. Unless you are dismissed, you stay.
- Dress neatly. Even in a casual office, keep your casual cute. Ideas of you are being shaped, you are being introduced all day to new people at all kind of levels. Some people you will meet once and maybe not again for 6 months…meet them at your best. Y’all know, first impressions and all of that…
- Be Friendly. You are too new to be closed off or to be bringing your personal issues into the office. Margret is going to ask you hella questions about your weekend on Monday morning before you’ve had your coffee. You have to be nice.
Be a sponge. The most annoying part of getting a new job is the ramp up process. You want to get up and running quickly because how are you gonna show off if you don’t know anything. Read the website, watch the marketing videos and read the whitepapers. You want to quickly get a sense of what the company does and how. Get yourself inside the fold as soon as possible.
Pay attention to the hierarchy and the vibe. At every company I have worked for, you have who thinks they are in charge and who is really in charge. Who does all the work? Who gets the credit for all the work? Who do you need to impress? Who is going to be a problem? This is where you are picking your people and determining how the place works. This will help you fall into the culture of the place and it will also help you find know who is going to impact your future, who to ask questions and who to flex on.
About the question of “who is going to be a problem?“, it sounds negative but it’s not, it’s strategic. Companies are made up of people and sometimes you don’t jive with every single person and that is okay. Determine how you are going to navigate folks who are “not your cup of tea” but also give them a chance to change your mind.
Personal Story: I was in a group interview a few years ago, three people interviewing me and 2 other candidates. They (management) had a group and we (candidates) had a group. One of the managers kept throwing digs at everything any of us (the candidates) asked. You can tell she was new to managing people and had something to prove. The opportunity was good and the CMO was exactly the kind of person I wanted to work with and for. When I got the offer I knew that a big hurdle was going to be the manager with the power trip. She was the worst type…insecure, power seeking and a bully. My plan was to Olivia Pope her whole shit. I came in hot with fresh ideas, catching her mistakes and anything she gave me to manage, I completely upgraded. I made sure I was overly professional and confident. It worked, after a few weeks she chilled out. By the end I’m sure she thought we were friends, we’re not but that was not the point. I wanted her respect and for her get out of my way. Gotta play it smart, y’all.
Ask good questions. Good questions are a sign of engagement and understanding. You do not need to over think this but make sure you are reading and researching enough that you can examine what is being presented and ask questions to better understand. If there are no questions, great comments work too.
Run with everything. One of the best ways I have found to shine at work is to completely own everything I am given, even the parts that aren’t exactly yours to do… at least in the beginning when you are not too swamped. Think about the next steps and take care of them if you can. I learned this from one of the best bosses I’ve had early on in my career.
Personal example, I used to have a job that required pulling reports on certain days. It was simple because the reporting was built to auto format from excel. It required very little cleaning up and my role was to download it and email it out. After a few weeks, my boss advised me to take it a step further. We were sending these reports to upper management, he knew that a couple of the people at the top were “print everything” people and were having their admins reformat the report to print every time. So I started formatting the report for both print and reading online. This is a super small thing but the response back on the time saved was great.
I took that as a lesson in everything I do until this very day. Take it to the next step and if you don’t know the next step ask the people you are working with what they are doing with your work. Ask questions about what part makes more sense for you to knock out? Can the entire process be upgraded so you’re working smarter? So much of what we do is done the way “we’ve always done it” … the processes were created in chunks and no one is looking at it as a whole. You are new – you have fresh eyes and the time to take it all in and make suggestions. Do it and take all the glory!
That it. Those are the things that have worked for me. I say 30 days because these are things you can do immediately and they really require little extra effort from you. If you keep this up by the time your 90 days rolls around you will have planted the seeds of
letting hoes know … I mean… setting yourself up for success.