How to successfully navigate your first 100 days in a new job
In his first 100 days in office, President Franklin D Roosevelt initiated a number of new laws that dragged the US economy out of the Great Depression that had engulfed it during the latter part of the 1920s. It is still regarded as one of the most successful 100 days in political history. While you are unlikely to expected to rebuild an entire country’s economic fortunes within your first three months, there are ways you can make a positive impact on your new Employer.
Starting a new job can be a daunting proposition. It’s the unknown – what is the environment like, will your colleagues take to you and you to them, is the job all that you hope and expect it will be? The list goes on. But after your new line manager and the HR department have completed the initial onboarding process, the rest is very much down to you. So, how can you make a difference to the company in the long-term?
Be brave – take the initiative
Depending on the size of the business you are joining, it might take weeks or even months before you meet all of your new colleagues. Getting to know those people within the same department will be relatively easy, as you will operate side by side on a regular basis. But don’t ignore those in others parts of the company – take the initiative the next time you see someone walking towards you along the corridor and say “Hi.”
Focus on building your personal brand from day one
There is a lot of truth in the adage that it is who you know, rather than what you know, which can help progress your future career. That’s why it is important to make a good first impression. Think of how you can introduce yourself in a way that people understand exactly who you are and what you do – your elevator pitch.
So, in no more than 30 seconds, think about how you would explain your area of expertise, where you were working previously and what skills you’re bringing to the table. Not only will you start to build stronger bonds with others elsewhere in the business, you’ll feel much more settled too. All of which will help to build your personal brand (and that could give you the edge when seeking promotion at a later date).
Ask, ask and ask
To familiarise yourself with the business and its processes as quickly as possible, go beyond the standard training you might be given on the first few days. Ask questions about anything that piques your interest, even if it’s not directly relevant to your role, and align yourself with those people who are ‘known’ for elements of the job that might not be your forte – someone who compliments your skills. For example, suppose you need to do a presentation for a client, perhaps there is someone who can turn your ideas into a great creative slide show? As a result, you’ll start to gain a more holistic understanding of how the business operates as a whole.
Be open to new ways of working
In your interview, it’s likely that you presented yourself as a team player – and your first few weeks at work are your chance to start proving it. However, you should be aware that your colleagues may approach tasks in a different way to how you would. On one hand, this is a great opportunity for you to provide a fresh perspective, perhaps stepping in to lessen someone else’s workload or resolve a difficult issue. On the other, adapting to new ways of working can be a real challenge. So, stay as open-minded as possible and don’t be afraid of trying something new.
Planning and preparation might see you through those first few weeks, but after a while your initiative should start to kick in. Continue to observe what’s going on around you, approach new tasks with enthusiasm and before you know it, you’ll have become an indispensable member of your new team.