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11 Tips To Ensure Success During Your First 100 Days In A New Job

11 months ago by Rose Hunt

11 Tips To Ensure Success During Your First 100 Days In A New Job

100 Cake

You’ve aced the interview, received the offer, and signed the paperwork. However, the biggest challenge is yet to come – getting started in your new role, and cementing an excellent reputation as a diligent and talented employee. Whether you’re an entry-level worker or a CEO, research tells us that first impressions are annoyingly persistent, and can follow you for years to come. And just as new presidents are judged on their early accomplishments, so might you be judged on your ability to build rapport with your new teammates and adapt to your new environment. With this in mind, let’s run through some top tips to ensure success during your first 100 days in a new job. 

Be proactive 

Ask your manager if it’s possible for you to come into your new workplace for an informal meet and greet before your start date. This will provide you with an opportunity to make a positive impression as someone who’s proactive and enthusiastic, as well as begin to identify challenges you’re likely to face within your first few weeks. In addition, this will make your first day a lot less stressful, as you’ll already have begun to learn names and orientate yourself within your new workplace. It’s also a good idea to review all the research you did on the organisation during the interview process; re-read staff bios, the company’s websites and social media pages, and re-familiarise yourself with key values and goals. 

Listen more than you talk

Your first few days on the job should be about absorbing all the information you can, which means following the 90/10 rule: 90% of the time you should be listening to people, and 10% of the time you should be asking questions. This demonstrates that you’re skilled in active listening, and possess great emotional intelligence.

Focus on relationship building 

During your first week, ask your manager to set up ‘get to know you’ meetings with key people within the business. Be sure to make as many notes as possible, including names, positions, and something memorable about your initial interactions. That way, when you next speak with that person, you’ll be sure to get their name correct, and can begin a new conversation based on details of your previous discussion. It’s also a good idea to find a work buddy – maybe someone on your team, or someone you’ve clicked with in another department. Offer to take them to lunch, and find out more about where you can really add value in your new position. This will have the added benefit of helping you to feel more settled and comfortable. Additionally, take the time to bond with your immediate colleagues. Be sure to make the effort to find out about them as people, and discuss areas in which you can help relieve pressure on them and contribute towards team goals. 

Be on your best behaviour 

It goes without saying that all eyes will be on you during your first 100 days in a new job. It’s therefore important to keep an eye on timekeeping, stick to the dress code, and continue working on building relationships by maintaining a polite and respectful demeanour at all times. However, don’t be tempted to get into unsustainable habits such as always being the first one to arrive and the last one to leave, no matter how keen you are to make a great impression – such behaviour is unsustainable in the long-term, and likely to lead to burn out. 

Establish what success looks like for your role

After your first week is over, you should begin to get into the nitty gritty of your role. Begin by developing a thorough understanding of your performance metrics; which KPIs are going to be vital in assessing your success? Above and beyond this, make an effort to understand which issues are important to your manager, as this will ensure your strategy and vision is aligned with theirs.

Don’t be too critical

As you begin to adjust to your new role, you might find there’s a lot you need to do, or that your predecessor left things rather disorganised. However, it’s important to treat such matters sensitively – you never know who you might offend. You should certainly suggest methods of optimising processes and make your opinion known, but be careful not to step on any toes, and be wary of imposing any large changes until you’re properly acclimated within the company – usually this means waiting until you’ve been there at least three months. 

Set long-term goals 

After the first week or so, you’ll likely have developed a routine and figured out your main priorities. However, in order to ensure lasting success, you need to be thinking of your long-term strategy. What goals would you like to accomplish in three months, six months, and a year? Once you’ve established these targets, set yourself daily tasks that will help you work towards them at a sustainable pace. 

Look for quick wins

Achieving success early on in your role is probably one of the most effective ways to establish credibility and build momentum, as well as set the tone for the months and years to come. This could be bagging a new client, acing a key presentation, or hitting your sales targets – anything tangible that will demonstrate to key stakeholders within the business that hiring you was the right choice. 

Find a mentor

Achieving measurable success within your new role is all well and good, but it’s also vital to ensure you’re working on your personal and professional development. Working with a mentor is proven to have concrete benefits, from broadening your network to helping you expand your knowledge base. If you don’t already have a person you consider to be a mentor, finding one might be the best decision you could make for your career going forward. If there’s no suitable candidates within your new workplace, consider looking further afield to your network or local community groups.

Demonstrate your willingness to learn 

From new software and systems to company-specific lingo, there’s sure to be plenty to get your head round during your first 100 days in a new job. Be sure to ask appropriate questions, take notes, and make the effort to discover information independently if there’s something you aren’t sure about. Above all, maintain a positive attitude, and if there’s anything you could improve upon, accept direction gracefully. 

Give (and receive)

Whether it’s making the tea, popping to the shop for milk, or planning your next team social event, volunteering to help as and when you can is sure to make a positive impression within your new company. Although you might feel uncomfortable, you also shouldn’t shy away from asking for favours, as doing so is actually scientifically proven to help you build rapport with others - people like someone more after they’ve done them a favour, which is known as the Benjamin Franklin effect. 

Be authentic

You’re far more likely to experience success in your new role if you stay true to yourself. This means admitting when you don’t know something, being honest when you’ve made a mistake, and embracing feedback and advice from others. No one is perfect, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to achieve an unrealistic standard. Plus, the more genuine you are, the more others will relate and feel connected to you. 

Starting a new job is a little bit like visiting a foreign country – everything feels unfamiliar, and you can’t rely on previous relationships or routines to guide you. Because of this, it’s totally normal to feel anxious, and even a little overwhelmed. However, with a little planning and effort, you can be sure to make an impact during your first 100 days in a new job and lay the groundwork for success in the months and years ahead. 

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