Starting a new job? There are 5 important things you must do in your first 100 days. People say that first impressions count. The first 100 days when starting a new job is the only time that you’ll get an opportunity you have to cement your place in an organisation.
Changing how people perceive you after the first 100 days can be difficult, as you don’t want to be spending your career in catch up mode. There are things which you need to take into account to make sure you’re able to get it right the first time.
Make a great first impression.
So you’re about to be introduced to more people than you’re possibly going to remember. Such as team members, colleagues, customers, friends, possible critics and potential competition for promotions, the list goes on and on. The first impression you make will be passed around the office a lot quicker than you’ll think. Whatever people say, whether it is positive or negative, it will potentially be embedded into your co-worker’s minds, even before you even meet them.
This does seem unfair but perception does count.
So how do you go about and navigate this treacherous territory? There are two fundamentally important considerations;
How you look.
First, ensure that you are dressed to impress. Make sure that you finally get that haircut you’ve been putting off, ensure that your shoes are shined, and if you’ve got a beard, shave it. Your own individual style and personality can come later, but for now you want to fit in.
If you are working in a corporate environment, you’ll want to be dressed up with a suit and tie. Even if most people in the office go for business causal, you can bet that the boss will be eating a suit & sometimes even a tie.
As for creative industries, they are more difficult to get right. As wearing a suit when everyone else is wearing causal clothing can make you look out of touch. So go for something smart but casual, like jeans with a shirt.
What you say.
After the first initial meeting with a firm handshake, you should prepare yourself with some elevator pitch style answers. You will inevitable be asked “Where did you go to school?” or “where do you live?”. Answering these questions with grace and a smile you’ll be well on your way. Try not to rock the boat by providing any opinions at this stage.
Tip: When everyone is watching you, it really does helps to arrive early and leave a little late. Then when it’s time to leave, check-in with your manager to see if there is anything else you can help with before heading home.
Ask a lot of questions.
Focusing questioning is the best way to learn. It will help you get up to speed on the organisation culture, and it will show your manager that you’re serious about making your career a success. Types of questions you can ask could include:
- Are there any training documents I can read to ensure that I understand my expected work?
- What communication methods do our team typically use?
- Who are some of the key people I should introduce myself to
- Are there any upcoming projects that I should be aware of?
By keeping your questioning specific and relevant, it ensures that people can see that you’re serious and ready to make your career a success within this company. However, be sure to not ask about personalities or individual opinions at this stage.
People will genuinely want to help. However, don’t be an annoyance to them and try not to bombard your manager with silly questions about how the coffee machine or the stationery.
Create your own focused plan.
The first 100 days in your new job will be packed with training, onboarding and meetings. During this time, you’ll need to start to understand the expectations. One of the biggest reasons for people failing employment with companies is that there is misaligned expectations. As the organisation wants one thing and the employee thinks they want something else.
It’s essential that during the first 100 days you’re able to establish the real focus of your role. The earlier you do this, the better it is. Meaning that you’ll have a clearer picture of what lies ahead. The key person to speak to about learning the expectations is your immediate manager.
During your first 100 days, ensure you set out ‘SMART’ (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) objects for both the short and medium term. It does however require an informed position for both you and your manager. So be sure to set up at least one career planning meeting, during the first few days.
Start building a network.
After your first few days in the job, you will have mostly met all the people you’ll be working with. Now is the time to get them onside. The people who are responsible for your hiring will be closely involved with you in the first couple of days, as they’ll naturally will be looking for confirmation that they made the right decision hiring you over other potential candidates.
The more you can say and do that meets their expectations, will give them the confidence that they’ve made the right decision. Also it will then be more likely that they’ll get you involved in the real work right away.
If you’ve been hired for managerial level or above, it is then crucial to engage with your team and build their trust, as you are their leader they will be looking for guidance soon after you’ve started.
If you are part of a team, try and begin to engage with all the team members, even with those that you don’t really work with directly. If this is your first job, try and build trust by digging in and helping out.
Reflect, rinse and repeat.
If you’ve managed to follow the above advice, your first 100 days will hopefully be a roaring success & you should be sailing to the top of the organisation. There will be no doubt in successes and failures during this period, it will give you a chance to reflect. There is always new people to meet, new ways on how to build networks and objectives to achieve more and revise.