Starting a new job can be a lot of pressure. Not only are you onboarding and training, but you’re also finding your place within your new team and getting a feel for company culture.
By harnessing your emotional intelligence and your knowledge of behavioral styles you can make a great first impression and thrive as a new hire during your first 90 days and beyond. Here are 6 ways to do just that.
Get Clear Expectations…
It’s nerve wracking to start a new position, especially as you’re getting used to the role and the people on your team. It can also be difficult to know exactly how well you’re performing.
Close this information gap by asking for specific deliverables at the beginning of your time at the company! It’s likely that this will already be a part of your onboarding process, but make sure to ask regardless. By knowing and hitting these definite objectives, you will begin a positive reputation in your new organization and make stronger connections.
Ask for regular performance feedback and set a cadence of strong communication with your supervisor and your peers.
…Then Go Above And Beyond
Your first 90 days are crucial to set the tone of your employment. As you do so, it’s important to not just hit your milestones and objectives— you need to go above and beyond in your performance.
Obviously, you need to be careful about taking on extra responsibilities; you don’t want to burn out or set expectations at an unsustainable level! You need to do the internal work to know what you can and can’t handle and then set out to perform at a high level.
Now is the time to put in extra work, get to know people and build connections, learn as much as you can, and make a great impression by working hard. Earning the trust of those around you early on is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success in your role, so work hard and stay open to possibilities.
Listen To Understand, Not To Reply
While you start a new role and adjust to new expectations and tasks, you will be receiving a lot of information. Not all of that information will be work related— the people around you will inevitable share about themselves and their lives.
Make sure you are listening for understanding! This means you are noting details, putting in effort to absorb details, analyze emotion, and really embrace the mindset of the other person.
This is best practice for every interaction but it’s especially important while you are making impressions and building connections. Abandon your assumptions going into an interaction and make sure your mind is open to all of the information being shared with you. Even if you don’t agree with certain processes or points of view of your coworkers, they are still sharing valuable information. It’s up to you to interpret it to find that value.
On a more personal networking note, use the acronym ‘FORM’ while meeting new people. It stands for FAMILY, OCCUPATION, RECREATION, and MISSION (or WHAT MATTERS MOST). These core themes can guide the questions you ask and the connections you make. Keep the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote; “Every person I meet is my superior in some way and I can learn from him or her.” This point of view and the simple acronym FORM will help you.
Learn The History Of The People Around You
Every time you join a new group of people, you’re becoming a part of their history and experience. Learning what your team was like before you joined an organization is crucially important to your success and future— it’s essential to get information about the interpersonal dynamics of your team and company culture.
You need to tread carefully here— don’t snoop! Remember, you are actively building your reputation and it’s hard to recover a fumbled first impression. Make sure to take your active listening into account and be conscious of the type of questions you ask.
Make sure to have hard data and facts on hand, but focus on the story of what you’re selling more than anything else. High Is are visionaries and love a big picture focused on people, so keep that in mind while you’re pitching.
A good place to start is to ask your direct manager, “What did the person previously in this position do well? And what did they do that can be improved upon as I fill the role?” Frame your questions as a way to seek improve rather than ‘get dirt’ on former employees.
Ask your coworkers and boss for one-on-one interactions, out to coffee or lunch, and learn about why they work there and their favorite parts of the job (and their least favorite parts of it as well, if they offer that info!). Keep your ears open for any other information— if others are gossiping in front of you, listen and make an assessment about what to do next, whether that’s removing yourself from the conversation, saying something in the moment, or saying nothing while observing. (Remember that the people you’re with are providing you with information about themselves and their values as well as the people they’re speaking about!)
Remember Your Team Is Still Adjusting To You!
Finally, something simple but crucial to keep in mind is that just as you are on your best behavior, so are the people around you! They might be cautious, more formal, and more or less friendly that they naturally are— it all depends on their behavioral styles and interactions with you. This isn’t about you, so don’t take it personally. It’s all part of the adjustment period in this new role.
There’s not a lot you can do to ease this process besides being yourself and being conscious and respectful of the needs of others. Don’t make assumptions about others and keep observing them as time progresses— you’ll get to know them better as your role solidifies over 90 days.
Move Forward In Your Role With Confidence
Starting a new role should be more exciting than stressful— you can make that happen by controlling what you can and learning as much as possible from the people around you. Remember to ask for clear expectations, put in extra work, listen actively, learn the history, and give others time to adjust, and you will thrive in your new position.
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