Succeeding in a New Job

Starting a new job and looking for advice to ensure success?

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for 30 years.

​​First, congratulations on your new job! There can be a lot of uncertainty that comes with a new job. You’ll encounter new people, a new environment and a new set of responsibilities. Having a plan on how to make the best first impressions and adding value quickly will help you succeed. Here are some more practical tips to help ensure success.

  1. With your manager create measurable and achievable goals within the framework of a 30/60/90-day timeframe.
  2. Listen and ask questions, understand the political as well as the geographical layout.
  3. Share your expectations on how work gets done and ask you manager and peers for their expectations to avoid miscommunication.
  4. Offer to help others if you have the time and relevant skills.
  5. Have regular meetings with your manager to make sure you are staying on-track.
  6. Take every opportunity to learn.
  7. Be positive and enthusiastic.
  8. Try not to be disappointed that some things may be a little different to your expectations.
  9. Connect with your new manager and future colleagues using tools such as LinkedIn. Remember these are currently professional relationships and you should treat them as such.

Indeed also recently provided new job insights during key milestones including the first week, the first 30 days and 90 days we’ve summarized below. 

In the first week:

1. Introduce yourself frequently. Studies have shown that anxiety in new situations can come in part from not feeling confident in how to introduce ourselves. It’s a natural feeling—when you’re new, you don’t necessarily want to call attention to yourself. But in the first days of a new job, you want your enthusiasm to shine through. So, find the timing that feels right and give a quick, energetic introduction to the people you don’t know yet.

2. Ask well-timed questions. As a new employee, you are likely to do your job better if you know what to do. By asking your leaders and peers for new information, you’ll get up to speed quickly. But in your first week, you want to find the right time to ask questions.

3. Seek out a friend. Once you’ve made some introductions and have a sense of who you’ll be working with, ask a new colleague to lunch or coffee. It could be the person sitting next to you or another newcomer who started at the same time. Developing a trusted relationship will make you feel more comfortable as you’re getting to know this new workplace. In fact, research has shown that having social ties at work can make us more productive.

4. Learn how to navigate and enjoy your new workplace. If you’re working in an office, locate the restrooms, the coffee and water, the stairs and elevators, where you can eat lunch and take breaks, and seek out any other amenities this workplace offers. If you haven’t been given a tour, consider asking a colleague for one.

5. Add value. Most likely, your job was open and you were hired because there is a lot of work to be done. In your first week, your main priority should be to soak up information but consider challenging yourself to add value in ways big or small. Here are some ideas of where to start:

  • Ask your manager what their biggest pain point is. Once you know the answer, spend your first week thinking about how to lessen that burden. Don’t force it or step on anyone’s toes, but if there’s something you can do, do it.
  • Think back to your interviews. Was there a specific need that came up? Consider writing up a short proposal for how you would take on that challenge.

The first 30 days of a new job:

1. Get to know your team better. It’s important to continue making new connections and allowing others to know you, too. By simply being around your new team and attentively observing how everyone works and collaborates, you’ll gain valuable insights into the company and group culture.

2. Get organized and set good habits. This job is a fresh start and a good opportunity to shed old routines. Take these first weeks to decide how you want to organize your calendar and to-do lists, how you’ll manage your time and the skills or practices you want to develop.

3. Define success with your manager. During the first few weeks, you and your manager should take the time to clarify your mutual expectations. This includes understanding how you will work together, how you will get the resources you need to do your job well and how your job performance will be assessed.

4. Be humble and open-minded. When we are humble, we are acknowledging that we cannot go it alone. Take the time to thank the people who are showing you the ropes, don’t take credit for work you haven’t done and listen more than you speak. You’ve never done this exact job in this exact setting, so no matter how much experience you have behind you, keep an open mind.

In the first 90 days:

1. Challenge yourself. In many situations, we have more power than we perceive. Set ambitious goals for yourself, work toward those goals by diving into situations that support them and continually repeat this process—striving to reach higher each time. You may not always achieve the goals you set, but the process of applying yourself with vigor is where significant personal and professional growth takes place.

2. Set boundaries. You may have spent the first month of your new job compromising on some of your boundaries. Maybe you came early and stayed late or took on extra projects to help others. This is a natural response in a new setting—we want to be obliging so that others will accept us. In the first few months of your job, though, you should begin to re-establish the boundaries that enable you to do your best work. While you should continue to be a team player, learning to say “no” will help you focus on your goals and manage time effectively.

3. Set up a 90-day review. In some organizations, a 90-day review for new employees is common practice. Even if your new employer doesn’t have a formalized review at this time, you may want to ask your manager for an informal one.

4. Reconnect with old colleagues. Now that you’ve begun to settle into your new job, it’s a great time to update former coworkers and learn what’s happening with them. Maintaining your professional network is a good way to keep a pulse on the job market and your profession. A recent Indeed survey found 31.6% of respondents were actively looking for paid employment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s already time to leave your new job. Rather, it signals a natural time in which to consider the next step in your career.

5. Be gentle with yourself. Believing in yourself is key to succeeding in a new job. You will undoubtedly face frustrations and make mistakes as you’re adjusting. Don’t fixate on what you have yet to accomplish. Focus instead on how far you’ve already come and where your hard work will take you next. After all, from a pool of candidates, your new employer chose you for this job—you’ve got this.

Starting a new job is exciting and can be challenging. Having a plan on how to make the best first impressions and adding value quickly leveraging the advice above will help you get off to a great start.

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for thirty years. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart.

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