Three Things You Must Do When You Land Your New Job

by: Joanne Meehl

Whether you're a new grad or an executive, these three things are VITAL for you to do

Hooray, you're landed your new job - fantastic! And congratulations! You've signed the written offer, passed all the tests, and you have a start date. What's to do now? Coast until your start date, right?

Certainly, celebrate. But also enhance your professional career by doing three things, and you will be the one everyone will want to hire, now and for years ahead!

1. Be grateful. Publicly. First, say thank you to your family: to your spouse, and your kids. They've stuck with you throughout the process. If you're a new college grad, thank your parents if they have funded you and supported you; if you paid your own way, thank yourself for sticking with it. Say thank you to everyone who helped you: recruiters, friends, extended family members, neighbors, career coaches, contacts.

But do more than that: Don't keep your thanks quiet. Do it in public! Do it on LinkedIn in particular, for your business contacts. In your Update line, say something like: "I want to thank Pete Smith for taking the time from his busy schedule to give me helpful advice about networking. Your tips made me feel much more comfortable and I believe they were critical to my success. I look forward to somehow helping you in the near future!"

Not only will PETE remember you, but others will check out Pete's profile which is good for him. And everyone who reads your thank-you will think you are classy and cool - because doing this makes you so.

2. Arrange to meet with your new boss even BEFORE you start your new job. Do so in his/her office, saying you'd like half an hour or so, so you can get oriented even before the official orientation.

But here's what you're really after in this meeting: finding out exactly why s/he actually hired YOU. They may have told you something vague like "You're the right fit" or "You showed the best experience match". When I asked one of my managers at Xerox who had an opening I was going for, "You had three great candidates, why did you choose me?" he answered, "The way you thoughtfully answered each question is exactly the way I want my team members to be with our clients." That told me a lot about his priorities, very early in our time working together, adding to my successes there. It will work the same way for you.

3. Now is the time to plan the next step in your career.

Huh? You're thinking: Joanne, I just landed this job, and you're asking me "What's next?"?!

Yes, and it's called career planning.

What I'm urging you to do very soon after starting your new job, and once you are doing well in it, is to begin thinking about your next step. What will your next title be, what will your new skills be and how will you achieve them, how will you bring value to your next manager or next company? Then find ways in your current job to learn AND do those things.

For example, it could mean learning that new, in-demand software tool now that will not only help you in your current role, but will help you set a path to your next one. Or you'll go for more projects that are enterprise wide because you want a lot of this in your next role. Or you start an initiative that makes your company a leader in the news, with the idea of repeatedly having such impact in your next role. In short, you'll be creating your successes now and paving the way for them in your next position.

Finally: Doing these three things will make you will feel great AND they'll come back to you in good ways.


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