You got the JOB! Congrats! Now it’s time to ramp up whether you are an employee, consultant or freelancer. Here are some great ways to meet expectations for your new job. Because of technology, better practices, and great expectations, it is important to first step up your structure and then do some digging to get the key information you need to start making headway.
- Start with a 90-day to 1-year plan. See templates here.
- Create a method to stay on top of it. You could use a project management tool of your choice or a spreadsheet. Asana has a free version with a visual task tool that might work great for you and a small team getting started.
- Create a way to measure your results like KPIs (key performance indicators). This is a good place to go to get more information for this.Klipfolio’s: “KPI Examples”Image by Kipfolio’s site
- Create a consistent method to report or communicate efforts and progress to key people. Bi-weekly progress calls, emails, etc. are great ways to communicate progress. If you are using a project management tool and can screenshot efforts and send them- that helps. Typically if there is a log-in system to track progress- not everyone tracks them, so screenshots and bullet point progress statements help keep busy bosses and clients up to speed better.
- Keep your value (measurable) statements going as you progress (for your own growth). Remember in Brand: Step 3: Value Statements to keep these statements going and growing as you progress through your career.
What are the departmental goals and objectives? What are the company’s goals and objectives? What are the position’s main priorities?
- Set up a meeting with your direct report when you start if one has not been set up already. It is important that you first get a clear understanding of your department’s goals and objectives, as well as that of your company.
- Use the Strategize Step 6: Business Strategy as a way to organize this information. Then you need to know exactly what is expected of you in your position. Sometimes this can be unclear, so it is important that you try to really gain a clear understanding of what they wish to see from this role.
It is important that you meet your key people you report to, your colleagues you will immediately be working with, and any people that report to you (if applicable) because perception is as important as performance.
- Ask questions, get to know them, and make a list somewhere of important information that you want to remember about them so that you do not forget.
- Look for potential sponsors or mentors and/or look for those that you can sponsor or mentor.
- Look for any other key people that will help you reach your goals. You can put these people in the Strategize: Step 3: Create a Supportive Network.
What are the quick fixes or low-hanging fruit projects that will make the most traction in your first 90-days? Employers are watching and gauging how you perform in your first few months there. The best way to show them that you are actionable is to tackle the “quick fixes”, while you are also slowly working on the more difficult priorities…chiseling away and communicating through whatever consistent communication method you chose.
It can not be stressed enough that metrics and communication will continuously save you time and time again. It saves you in times when your actions are in question or there have been miscommunications by being able to pull up past emails. Everyone respects the person that backs up his/her work by data and communicates succinctly, consistently, and effectively. If you are a person that does this consistently, your performance will rarely be questioned. If you hate dealing with metrics ( which many of us do) and are able to hire someone to do your reporting for you- do it. It will be money well spent in your work. If you do not have that luxury, embrace it.
This concept crosses over into your career where reporting your value (measurable) statements get you higher positions, more clients, better salaries and proves your successes. In business, you could be a stellar human, but if you do not embrace this concept of measurable successes, you will often get stuck in a holding pattern in your work.