You Landed That New Job! Now What?
Congratulations! Your long search is over, and you are ready to begin your new job. Ahhh •••• Now you can just relax. Right? Well, that depends on what you want.
Whether your search was only a brief one or you needed months to acquire the job, your focus has been on the job search. Actually performing in your new job will require a different mindset. You may view this situation as the answer to your dreams and the chance to contribute within an organization where you are deeply committed to the mission. The other side of the coin is that you accepted the job because you have been searching a long time and this was your first offer.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is wise to examine your new situation and how it fits into your career path. We begin with a multiple-choice exercise. At the end of every day, review your experience and answer this item.
This job is:
A good place for me to grow and develop for years.
An appropriate “launching pad” where I can learn and prepare to move on.
Not a good match for my skills and preferences.
Still a mystery to me.
Any one of these choices can be the right answer! Think critically to answer honestly. This continuous assessment will keep you fully conscious and ready to do whatever it takes to keep your career on track. Your answer may change from one day to the next. I would be very surprised if it didn’t! The important thing is that you use this exercise to focus your energy so that you can benefit yourself and your employer, providing the best value you have to offer.
What else can you do?
- Have a plan (and follow it) to get acquainted with your co-workers, customers, and others who are involved in the organization’s business. Relationships are core to any work situation. You will be spending many hours with your co-workers and clients, and you want to nurture cordial and cooperative relationships with this new “family.”
- Study the past, present, and future of your job. Read materials on file and ask questions to find out how it was done previously and why. Inquire about changes. Be willing to learn from the past before applying any great new ideas. This shows respect for tradition and for your colleagues.
- Read the mission and vision statements of the organization. Keep them posted or stored where you can find them quickly.
- Find out who has moved up in the organization and how they accomplished their success. Look for someone who can serve as your mentor. As soon as possible, start learning names and “who does what” so that you can function successfully within the organization’s structure. Write these down! Ask for advice and other information. Most people love to help and are pleased to be asked.
- Keep your supervisor informed about what you are doing and seek feedback. Maintain a log of the tasks you have started or completed so that you will have a handy reference.
- Be patient with yourself. You have entered a new environment, and it takes time to become acclimated.
Before you leave work each day, ask yourself, “What have I learned today?” If you record your answers, this can make a very interesting resource for you. It will help you to see patterns, understand the culture, and track your progress. This journal can also help you formulate the right questions to ask and to see new directions you can pursue in the organization.
Paying attention and following these tips will serve you well, whether you see the new position as the beginning of a satisfying longtime career or as preparation for another job.
Congratulations on starting a new chapter in your life. Good luck!