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9 ways to succeed at a new job in the first 100 days

March 29, 2016
Borderless Leadership

When you open the door to your hotel room, what do you do first?

You take over. You lay a suitcase on the unwrinkled bed. You open drawers, place clothes on hangers, litter the vanity top with toiletries and make the shelves in the shower home to your favorite items.

You give little thought to who was there before you. You make your presence known, you turn the temperature to your liking and you settle in.

You take ownership.

Several presidential candidates talk about what they would do in their first 100 days of office. Just as they plan to unpack and put their mark on the oval office, you can do the same when you land a new job, get promoted or take on added responsibility.

Many approach a new role with caution, hesitating to take ownership too quickly or to “cause waves.” It feels safer to quietly blend in and wait for further direction.

Instead, think of this as your opportunity to stake your claim. Think of your new role as your hotel room and quickly make it your own.

To assure your success in the first 100 days:

1. Ask what is expected of you

While the formal job description lists expectations, there are also informal expectations. Discuss your role and its priorities for the next few months. Be sure to know what the organization really expects from you. Tell them what you expect to achieve and ask for the resources and support you need.

2. Understand your new manager and their style and needs

Don’t wait to be invited to the party. The first 100 days is the perfect time to build a strong relationship with your new manager.

What makes him/her tick? What do they care about the most? How do they measure success? How will you both know you are on track?

3. Build credibility and trust with employees

If you are leading, take time to know each employee; schedule individual meetings. Assess your team and develop an individual plan to engage and motivate each employee.

4. Learn the culture

Identify the core values of the organization. Prompt storytelling to learn what it cares about and how it wants its brand perceived.

5. Align with the right players

The first 100 days gives you the opportunity to understand the informal power structure in the organization. Who are the up and comers? Who is on their way out? Seek out key people, up, down and sideways in the organization, and begin to develop your powerbase.

6. Avoid political landmines

Tread wisely until you gain a sense of the office politics.

7. Look before you leap

Give yourself enough time to observe and understand why things are the way they are before you suggest a major change. Once you build strong relationships, it will be easy to get your ideas quickly accepted.

8. Continue to develop

As Marshall Goldsmith’s book title says, “What got you here won’t get you there.” During your transition period, identify new skills, knowledge and the relationships that will help you continue to progress in your career.

9. Make the new “space” comfortable for you — its new owner

A few days after our oldest son went to college his younger brother lingered in bed, claiming he was ill. When I returned home from work, I found he relocated from his smaller bedroom into his brother’s larger space. He even sawed off the corners of his desk so he could move its bulky size through the door with ease.

He had taken ownership, settled in. You can do the same in your first 100 days.

Debora J. McLaughlin is author of “The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People,” “Performance & Profits” and “Running in High Heels: How to Lead with Influence, Impact & Ingenuity.” CEO of The Renegade Leader Coaching & Consulting Group, she and her team unleash performance, positivity and possibility in individuals, teams and organizations.

Source: NY Daily News

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