3 Tips for Starting a New Job

By Michael Ehrlich, @MichaelEhrlich

When it comes to a new job, having clear expectations and goals are key for success. Image via The Bullet Journal

When it comes to a new job, having clear expectations and goals are key for success. Image via The Bullet Journal

Earlier this week I started a new job, and after 6 years at my previous company I thought it might be helpful to share some key learnings for any professional move.

Changing jobs can be an exciting (yet sometimes stressful) process, but these three tactics should empower you to own the moment and set yourself up for success on day one.

CLEARLY DEFINE EXPECTATIONS

Regardless of your new job or company, clearly defining expectations for the role prior to the first day will no doubt set you on a path for success.

Your boss’ (and your own personal) expectations will of course evolve as you progress and grow within the role, but having an overall sense on day one is an imperative first step.

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Even before starting the job though, use your various interviews and conversations with potential bosses and co-workers to get a deeper sense of what the position entails. This will allow you to understand the opportunity even better and further spark ideas on how you can bring the role to life in new and unique ways.

Literally asking, “What are your expectations for this position?” in an interview will certainly offer you this insight and show your interviewer that you are serious about the opportunity. 

Once you start the job, continue to review and work against these expectations but don’t be afraid to tweak as needed. Remember, this is just the start and as you evolve and succeed, the expectations for you will grow as well.

SET SHORT/LONG TERM GOALS

First coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, “The First 100 Days” is an important barometer for initial success in any job.

As you prepare for your first day, draft immediate short and long term goals for your position. Once you are settled in the new job, meet with your boss to review and ask for input. The first 100 days will of course be key to establishing yourself at your new company, so focus on achievable and impactful results to start.

Similar to expectations, goals will evolve as you do in the job. You will certainly add more and more to your plate over time, but always remain realistic about what you can accomplish over a given quarter, season or year.

Writing your goals down and keeping them visible every day is always helpful for prioritization and time management. If a task or project does not mirror back to your expectations or goals, then perhaps it is an opportunity for delegation or reassignment.

RE-ENGAGE YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK

As you grow in your industry, it is of course imperative to cultivate a strong network – associates, partners, mentors – and starting a new job is the perfect time to re-connect with your colleagues.

Whether you simply share your updated contact info, provide context on your new position or even reignite conversations regarding new business opportunities, communication is key around any new job change.

Prior to departing your previous company and starting a new job, it is important to draft a clear communication plan for both your internal and external conversations.

Defining succinct messaging about your new role and future opportunities will make your narrative stronger and set the stage for future network building and communication.

After six years at adidas America in Portland, OR., Ehrlich recently moved back home to Los Angeles, CA. for a new opportunity as Vice President of Marketing Communications for Independent Sports & Entertainment (ISE). You can follow his journey on Twitter via @MichaelEhrlich.

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