You’ve worked hard to get that new gig. Now, in the first 90 days, how do you make sure you make a great first impression? How do you become an asset from day one? How do you set a precedent for outstanding contributions?`
To answer those questions, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this question:
During the first 90 days at a new gig, what should a new employee do to make a great first impression?
Here’s their best advice!
Feedback can be tough to swallow – especially when you’re used to doing everything right, and have to re-learn everything at a new position. The good news is managers don’t expect you to know everything — but they do expect you to have the right attitude and learn quickly. The ability to take in feedback in a constructive manner will allow you to quickly rise through the ranks at any new job.
Seek Ways to Help
In addition to achieving metrics their hiring manager expects of them, new employees must actively seek ways to assist colleagues when they recognize a glaring skill or resource gap. By making yourself available to help colleagues meet more work goals, you also gain powerful allies who’ll feel accountable to your long-term job success. Bonus: many of those you help will become mentors.
Find ‘Good Friction’
A key goal for new employees is to seek out good friction. This means being willing to solicit feedback on your projects from colleagues. Spend time with people who will hold you accountable and not accept your excuses and complaints. Be willing to share your opinion, even if it goes against what everyone else believes. Good friction is where growth, development and breakthroughs happen.
Make Yourself Indispensable
If you do everything you can for a company and put the time and energy in, it will show through. Employees who do this have the best job security; an employer will not get rid of someone who goes the extra mile. Be consistent in coming in early, staying late and promoting the brand, as well as helping team members, creating sales ideas and making the company better as a whole.
Find Out “Why” First
I encourage employees to challenge the status quo: It’s one of the ways we improve. But new employees shouldn’t immediately assert their view of the business and its processes. It takes time to understand why processes are in place: the outcomes our processes and workflows optimize for. Try it our way for while, and we’ll be more than happy to hear how you’d make things better.
Become an Expert
If a new employee wants to stand out, they should focus on being an expert, regardless of their role. Even if they are the receptionist, master that job. If they are a project coordinator, they should memorize every detail and know the projects both backward and forward. Commit to becoming an expert in your space and people will notice. Read, study, find a mentor or stay late: Do whatever it takes!
Any time a superior — no matter how low on the hierarchy — is speaking to you regarding work-related subjects, take notes. When you are asked into a superior’s office, bring a note pad and pen. Taking notes, or being prepared to take notes, broadcasts attentiveness. New hires are always closely watched. If bosses aren’t sure you’re paying attention, your job is at risk.
Show Value Quickly
Every new employee needs to make a difference in the first 90 days. Take on new challenges, be enthusiastic, work those extra hours, etc. When someone can immediately show value, it’s a sure-fire way to position themselves as someone who can grow in the company. New employees have a blank canvas, so they have the opportunity to position themselves as they want to be perceived.
Learn Your Job
There are two types of employees: those who get work done and those who have to ask others how to get work done. So take time to learn your job. Read your training guides. Then research your products and develop the knowledge necessary to be an asset, not a liability. Just because you’re new doesn’t mean it’s OK to always rely on co-workers to help you do your job.
Study and Learn
New employees should focus on their development. This includes understanding their role within the company and networking with co-workers. So set a personal development goal, such as “I will read for 30 minutes every day on my industry, make notes, and learn more about it. Then, I will demonstrate my understanding by talking with coworkers and contributing to my team and the company.
It takes time for new employees to acclimatize and learn the ropes. That process goes more quickly if they’re not afraid to ask questions. I’d rather new hires “make a nuisance” of themselves by asking really good questions, as long as it allows them to integrate and become productive more quickly. Of course, do everything you can to self-learn, too. But don’t ever be afraid to ask.
Don’t Get Fired
Simply put, do your job. Contribute new ideas, learn something new every day. Then, find out how you can apply it so you can be even better at your job. Always strive to make good impressions with everything you do, and everything will be fine. Also, don’t get involved in workplace gossip, and leave your personal problems out. Follow this advice, and you’ll be a great employee.
Create a “First 90 Days” Plan
The first 90 days are most important to establishing a reputation within a team or company. So employees should know the tangible goals they want to accomplish in the first 90 days of a job. They should also know what is expected of them by the employer. So rather than guessing, they should work with managers to clearly define success metrics at the outset. Help them, help you. And make a plan.
Adapt to the Culture
Everyone should know to do their best work, be on time, be nice to the boss, etc. Fitting in is an overlooked skill. Those who concentrate too much on their work and not on their social interaction will eventually feel the stress of not getting along with coworkers. So if you plan to work at the job for a long time, getting along with everyone will make your work life much more enjoyable.
Think Like a Boss
During your first 90 days, put yourself in your CEO’s shoes and complete your work with that in mind. You will probably start to work differently and more efficiently. As a result, your chance at personal success will be much higher.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched Business Collective. This free virtual mentorship program helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.