In the October 15, 2013 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader asks how to start a new job off on the right foot:
I’m starting a new job soon, and I’d like your opinion on how to make a great first impression. I can do the handshaking and small talk, but what else? I’ve read that one should meet with the boss at the end of the first day to check in. What other advice can you give me?
It’s a good idea to stop by your boss’s office at the end of your first day to say thanks for the job and to “check in.” But you should also check in with your boss regularly, to ensure you’re meeting his or her expectations and that you understand your objectives.
Be diplomatic and be confident. But don’t just say “hi.” Introduce some substance into your conversation so your boss will take notice of your diligence — because the early impression you create will influence your relationship for a long time to come.
After you’ve been oriented and assigned your first tasks:
- Take some time to outline the work you have to do.
- Put it on paper. It need not be fancy, but it should be carefully thought out.
Also outline how you’re going to do the work:
- Lay out an overall strategy.
- Detail the specific steps you’ll take.
- Describe the tools you’ll use, and so on.
Don’t forget to:
- List obstacles you might encounter.
- Questions you’ll have.
- Include milestone dates and measures of your own performance.
Then sit down with your boss:
- Ask for input and comments about your work plan.
- Discuss how your work will contribute to the company’s (or department’s) profitability.
- Explain that you want to shape your plan so you’ll fit in with the rest of the team.
Don’t wait for your boss to “review” your performance. Review it for him early and often (without irritating him). That’s the best way I know to Start a Job on The Right Foot because it shows the boss that you’re thinking about the work and about the company’s success. After all, that’s what you were hired for, right?
Best wishes on your first days!
How do you keep your job? Your boss always needs good reasons to keep you on board. How do you do it?