Congratulations! You’ve just landed an awesome new role. This means you’ve successfully navigated the job hunt process, impressed a hiring manager, and convinced a company you’d be an awesome team member.
That’s no small feat, and you should give yourself a pat on the back.
But don’t spend too much time resting on your laurels — because landing the job doesn’t equate to winning the game. It’s just an invitation to play.
Once you finish your celebrations and start looking ahead, you’ll start to realize there’s a big looming question you have to answer: what next? How do you crush this opportunity you’ve landed, and get the most out of this job?
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a master breakdown on how to crush your new role. We’re going to show you how to wow your managers, crush your quotas, and set yourself up for even bigger and better opportunities.
You ready for this? Because the road to success starts now.
T-minus 1 Week
Yes, really. Success starts before the job does. Your opportunity to wow your managers starts precisely when the clock does on Day 1. You want to be ready.
Besides hanging out with your friends to celebrate your upcoming change in employment status (and perhaps some indulgent new-job-new-look wardrobe shopping), you want to carve out some time to start doing your homework and preparing yourself.
Here’s how to hit the ground running:
Learn absolutely everything you can about the company. Really. Sign up for demos, read their blog posts, research your teammates online and win some stalker points, and research competitors on the market. The more you know, the better.
Find out what software tools you’re going to be using in your new role. Take some time to learn them. Sign up for free trials and binge watch YouTube tutorials, so you can start using them to do valuable things on Day 1!
Take a little time and make sure you’re clear on what success in your role looks like. You’ll get more information on this as you go, but the better you understand the steps for success, the better you can start taking them!
Things to do on the First Day:
Be at least 10 minutes early. This is one of the easiest ways you can signal your buy-in and reliability. Just show up at least 10 minutes before you’re supposed to.
Stay at least 10 minutes late. Don’t signal that you’re so excited to clock out and get out that you’re through the door as soon as the clock hits 5. Make sure your work is done, confirm that your teammates have everything they need, and check with your manager to make sure you’re good to go. Don’t be afraid to hang around and make conversation with other people that are wrapping up their day. You aren’t just here doing the bare minimum. You’re here because you want to be here, even if it’s 5:10!
Say hello to people! It can feel really uncomfortable starting conversations when you’re the new kid, but don’t be shy! Be friendly; introduce yourself; set the tone as someone who’s excited to engage. Good teammates are team players.
Be punctual about everything. Respond to messages quickly. Remember what they say about first impressions? The more your reputation centers around being fast, the better.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This one’s a killer for early employees — it can feel easy to second-guess yourself, to ask “is this a dumb question?”, or to feel like you’re supposed to know the answers to things you don’t (so you’re shy about asking). Always make sure you can’t find the answer yourself first, but never leave questions unanswered. You’re new — you’re supposed to ask questions!
Things to do in the First Week:
Underpromise and overdeliver. Give yourself extra buffer time when setting deadlines and timelines, and then deliver ahead of schedule. This is the fastest way to look impressive.
Document what you’re working on for yourself. The more notes you take, the better your memory. I’d recommend Evernote for this, but any note-taking app works.
Get to know your teammates! You’re going to be working with them for the foreseeable future, and the more camaraderie you establish, the better. I once had a new colleague offer to take everyone on the team out for 1-on-1 coffee/tea/drinks as a personal get-to-know-you. You picked the place, she picked up the tab. Steal a page from her playbook and do this — because it works.
Things to do in the First Month:
Become absolutely impeccable at doing your job. Don’t worry about anything else until you’ve gotten this down pat. Always be early, always overdeliver, always make sure the things you’re responsible for are getting finished. Don’t even think about doing “extra,” until you’ve gotten the basics finished!
Establish a solid workflow. The more systems you have in place for yourself, the easier it is to ensure you get everything done … and the less likely things are to slip through the cracks. If nothing else, master your calendar. Time management is one of the best skills you can possess at this stage in the game.
Create a good system for working out loud. Make sure your team knows what you’re doing, and make sure the outside world knows what you’re doing, too (blog documentation, anyone?).
Things to do in the First Year:
Always challenge yourself to go above and beyond. 10% more is a great rule of thumb. Whatever people expect of you, challenge yourself to deliver 10% extra. 10% more time, 10% more calls, 10% more units of work finished. The small increments compound into one really big amount of impressiveness, and a big leg up over everyone who’s just doing 100% and nothing else.
Learn about the other departments of your company. Take people from other departments out for coffee or lunch. Ask to sit in on meetings. Ask questions. The more you can learn, the better you can function as a team player.
Learn how to think creatively and innovate. Getting the things done that you’re responsible for is the bare-bones minimum requirement for success in your specific role, but going above and beyond and creating something new is what sets you up for career advancement. If you keep doing the same things you always did, you’ll keep ending up at the same place (and never get to grow).
Ditch the permission-based mindset. Don’t just do what you’re told, or wait for instructions. When you see a problem, fix it (or if you aren’t allowed to just make the change yourself, propose a solution).
Remember what I said about the road to success starting now? Good work making it through the article. But now scroll back to the top and start cracking — because that’s where the real magic happens.