What traits does your new boss really want to see from you during your first 90 days on the job? How will you live up to your new manager’s expectations – both spoken and unspoken?
Unfortunately, most managers won’t even tell you they are evaluating you against these five traits; they’ll assume you already know. So let me help you read between the lines.
During the interview process, your future manager was sizing you up, not just to see if you can do the job, but to evaluate what type of employee you’ll be. Now, you have to prove you can deliver by doing your best work. But, that’s not all.
Within the first 90 days, you need to make your manager’s life easy.
In order to make that happen, here are the five characteristics just about every manager looks for (whether they say it, or not):
You’re Easy to Manage
You aren’t the only person your manager has to oversee, so they hope you’ll require minimum oversight. Your new manager also expects you to learn as much as you can independently, without a lot of hand-holding and formal training. When your manager asks you to do something, they expect you’ll do it quickly and give it your all without complaining.
The ideal new hire comes up to speed quickly and asks appropriate questions. They know who to ask for help, and when.
2. You Play Well with Others
Teamwork is important. You’ve been working in teams throughout school and in earlier roles, so this isn’t new to you. Being a good team member means people want to collaborate with you because you are fair and logical. Be the team member who knows how to work through differences and will pick up the slack for others to keep things moving smoothly.
Your manager doesn’t want to play referee. Work well with others. Listen to other perspectives. Consider all options.
3. You Communicate Clearly
If your manager needs you to interact with a client or senior management, they want to know you’ll represent the team, and them, well. You must be able to succinctly summarize the message and provide just the right amount of information. Speak with an air of credibility, not arrogance, and you’ll sound less like a newbie and more like a seasoned pro.
Be that team member your manager can count on.
4. You’re Likable
You thought all you had to do was perform your job well. But, have you heard about the test some managers use to evaluate your likability? They ask themselves how they would feel if they were stranded at an airport with you. Would they enjoy getting to know you better, or would they dread the time alone with you?
Throughout your work day, be positive and have an easy smile. Listen, really listen, to what people say and show an interest in the world around you. Know how to keep the conversation alive. Understand that sometimes doing good work means having a little fun.
5. You Possess Tact and Diplomacy
In times of stress, and when the stakes are high, your boss hopes you will handle the situation appropriately. What this probably means is that you manager expects you to handle the situation the same way they would. Watch your manager and learn how they handle difficult situations.
Emulate this style and ask for feedback when necessary.
Bonus: You Make Your Boss Look Good
After a nice win, toward the end of a big project and in meetings, credit your manager for any support, ideas or resources. When it’s not appropriate to say it in public or in writing, sincerely communicate this to your manager in person. Be sure to never criticize your manager in public or make them look foolish. And don’t try to corner your boss by asking questions they can’t, or won’t, answer.
Some managers invest a lot of time and energy into developing team members. But even if yours hasn’t, try to make them shine by truthfully acknowledging any support, mentorship or leadership they provide.
And keep in mind: Your odds of starting your new job on the right foot are greater if you ask to meet with your new manager soon after you start.
It is up to you to manage your success by getting your manager to open up and communicate expectations. Ask questions about their top priorities for you in the role and how your performance will be assessed. Together with your manager, you can build a plan to come up to speed as quickly as possible and learn the new company’s processes and procedures.
By having this open dialogue, you have already begun to earn respect from your new manager… and you’ll already be demonstrating the five traits every manager wants to see from a new hire.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!