When you start a new job, you probably realize the first three months are critical to your long-term success. Everybody’s eye is on the "newbie" as you learn the ropes. "Does anybody want to go to lunch?" is the wrong thing to say in a run-during-lunch or never-leave-the-desk culture.
You may begin your job by reading a stack of manuals. Or you may dive right in to fix a crisis or install a much-needed system.
Your first step…
Logical first steps, right? Wrong! Your very first step should be to set up a meeting with your boss to find out what will count in your new job.
What You Need to Know
• what does your boss expect: outcomes, budget, and dates. Be as specific as possible.
o If you’re designing a training program, by what date will you have brochures? Attendees?
o Will participant evaluations of the program influence your own evaluation?
• What is the next step in your career path?
o How can you prepare yourself for promotion?
• Does your company evaluate by numbers, e.g., 5 is outstanding and 3 is average?
o If so, what would you need to demonstrate for a top score?
• Is your boss expected to "curve the grades?"
o If the boss is limited to three "outstanding" ratings out of ten people, learn whether the top scores have traditionally been awarded to the same people each year.
• Try to learn how your boss will be evaluated. You may not be able to ask directly but you can expect to be rewarded for helping your boss score points.
Begin keeping a record of your activities and accomplishments. Write entries every week, if not every day. Save evidence of accomplishments so you can be ready to document your performance.