The First Six Months On the Job: What You Need to Do!

Sections of this topic

    I was once told that the first six months in an organization are the most important. Do you agree? What advice would you give someone entering a new organization?

    Absolutely true! the first 6 months in a new job is your opportunity to learn, to be seen, to make a name for yourself and build your brand. This is the time when you will show the organization how right they were by hiring you.

    If I were coaching someone, I would recommend that they do several things to get off to a strong start.

    1. Get the lay of the land.
      It’s easier to ask “dumb” questions during the “newlywed” period. Inquire not only about the written rules, but also the unwritten rules in the organization; f find out who the key influencers are and why they are influential; and take time to observe and discover what’s really important to the organization.
    2. Quickly add value.
      Assess what unique skills or talent you bring to bear to address the most critical challenges. Look for quick wins to establish credibility and respect as quickly as possible.
    3. Ensure they have absolute role clarity.
      Two dangerous pitfalls are straying into someone else territory or overlooking some aspect of their responsibility.
    4. Write a broad ‘100 day plan.
      Be sure you get input from your manager and even your employees. It should includes specific strategies as well as how these strategies are aligned with the department and corporate goals.

    Career Success Tip:

    Realize that joining a new organization requires you to quickly understand and adapt to a new culture, to new people and to a new political arena. It’s not business as usually. It’ may require you to learn new things and to do what you’ve done before in new ways. Also see Tips for Starting a New Job, Making the Right Career Moves Part #1 and Part #2.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?