Don’t leave the station without a map: Whether you are completely new to the workforce or a veteran, it is crucial that you have confirmed with your boss how he/she is defining success and how you will be measured during a performance review period. In order to set yourself up to succeed you must remove all ambiguity regarding your role, responsibility, and expected results. You don’t want to be surprised at review time.
Don’t overpromise and underdeliver: It’s so easy to try to look good and give it all your when you first start, but if you overpromise and come up short, it will look really bad and leave a negative impression. Start off easy to ensure you get the lay of the land. You don’t know how long things will take given the culture of your new company and the nuances/politics of how things get done.
Don’t be a know it all: No one likes to work with someone who constantly talks about how things were done at their former company or how messed up things are in their new company. Successful people understand the contribution they make to their company and look for opportunities to contribute and share information in a way that others can actually hear and integrate it.
Don’t be an alien waiting for contact: You will not succeed by sitting all day in your cubicle. Companies are social systems and as such staying on top requires that you continually build and reinforce relationships with coworkers at all levels. An ever expanding network is vital to not only getting day-to-day activities done but critical to large strategic initiatives when collaboration and support is needed from individuals across the company.
Don’t be a target for the fashion police: First impressions are everything. You need to convey the right professional image. The right professional image is a combination of how you dress, groom, communicate, and behave.
This is an excerpt from Sink or Swim: New Job. New Boss. 12 Weeks to Get it Right.
Milo Sindell & Thuy Sindell are the founders of two software companies: Knowledge Genie and Hit The Ground Running. They are the co-authors or Sink or Swim: New Job. New Boss. 12 Weeks to Get it Right; Job Spa: 12 Weeks to Refresh, Refocus, and Recommit to Your Career; and the upcoming book, The End of Work as You Know It: Eight Strategies to Redefine Work in Your Terms.