Modern Dilemmas: Make the most of your new career by being creative... and positive

Dear Alex I have just started a new job. How can I ensure it’s a success?

Your new job! You’re grateful, you’re excited, now get strategic. Use this new job checklist to make sure you are being super smart about making the most out of this new opportunity.

YOUR FIRST DAY – Go to the company’s orientation meeting. What are the underlying cultural messages and values? What behaviours does the company expect of employees? Are these behaviours a part of the performance management or appraisal system? Reach out to your new boss: Confirm that you’re glad to be there, reiterate that you plan to add real value, and express your desire to be clear on your objectives for the first six months. Introduce yourself to everyone in your department: Simply state your name, your role, and that you want to say hello. Then ask about the other person’s role.

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YOUR FIRST WEEK – Determine with your boss specific goals for the first six months: Ask what the perfect results look like. Be clear on any resources or restrictions. Have lunch with at least three different people in your group: Make it easy for others by asking lots of questions about something they know well - themselves.

Get all your logistics set up: Set up your phone number, voice mail, computer, network log ins, e-mail account, postal mailbox, name badge, parking, office supplies, business cards, and anything else.

YOUR FIRST 6 MONTHS – Ooze Competence. Deliver on agreed-upon results and keep people updated. Generate at least one or two innovative ideas tied to significant department goals. Get feedback from your boss. How satisfied is he or she with your results? How can you improve? Listen carefully to his or her comments and respond positively. Get in front of your boss’s boss. Come up with an idea tied to an objective this person is trying to achieve, then ask for a chance to discuss it. Make sure you make your immediate boss look good in the process. Start to cultivate relationships with key people in the organisation.

YOUR FIRST YEAR – Continue to perform: Your ability to consistently produce results will keep you in the driver’s seat. Be a part of at least one key project that gets you noticed: Be able to articulate how the project ties to the company’s larger objectives and how your contribution fits. Openly commend others who achieve results on the project. Propose professional development activities: Upgrade your knowledge and skills. Be creative! Continue building your external network. Initiate chats with those outside of your company. You never know who may be your next employer or client.


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