Make an Impression from Day 1

Make an Impression from Day 1

Don’t spend the first three months of a new job fumbling around not knowing what to do.

Getting a new job means the culmination of excitement, stress and the unknown. It can be easy to get lost in the jumble. Without specific knowledge or assigned projects to keep you motivated, just skating through and doing easy one off assignments might seem like the best approach to get your feet wet. Unfortunately, this kind of approach can set you up for a first year or more of mediocrity, lagging promotions and more, just because of a simple career move.

Author Michael Watkins tackles this issue in his book “The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels.” The fact that this book is aimed at managers is evident in the title, but this doesn’t mean individual contributors have nothing to learn from this business book. Much of the information is common sense knowledge which can be applied at all levels from entry to executive.

As I read “The First 90 Days”, I found myself nodding along with the information; most of it is inherent information which has been packed into my subconscious from old jobs, college and just general life. However, having practical advice laid out in one book is worth its weight in gold. Watkins suggests never being too comfortable and to immediately search out projects which you know you can handle to produce “wins” early on. These success stories will set the stage for you moving ahead. It is critical for managers especially to build a bright repertoire with reports and earn respect early on.

If you are stepping into a new position, I do recommend giving yourself a head start with Watkins “The First 90 Days.” It is even available in audio so no excuses you don’t have time to read it.