Date posted: 25/03/2016

How to impress in the first 100 days of a new job

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You nailed the interview, you've got your dress sense right, and you're ready to take your next step on the corporate ladder to success and stability. The first 100 days of a new job is the time to make a great impression on your superiors and to cement your position in the company. The key is to plan these first few months, which will help you avoid new-recruit mistakes, make an impact on your boss and win over your colleagues.

The early stage of any new job is when your boss and colleagues start to form their opinions of you based on the limited exposure they've had to you - and it tends to stick. Overcoming these initial perceptions is difficult, and it can be more troublesome if those opinions are negative.

This article will show you how to prevent undesirable views and, instead, position you as a reliable colleague and employee.

The start (week one)

From the day you get your ID card, listen, listen, listen. Absorb as much information as you can and always ask questions. Repeat what you learn back to those who teach, to make sure you've got it straight, and take notes as if you were still studying. You'll learn fast and make fewer mistakes if you actively listen to those who know what they're talking about.

Make sure you have one-on-one meetings lined up with managers in the business, as well as other people relevant to your job. Ask to meet as many people as possible to learn what their role is and how they fit into the structure. It's a great way to find out more about how the organisation functions as a whole.

Stay humble at this point. Admit you know nothing, and you're just looking to get up to speed on everything. Never be embarrassed to ask for help or say you don't understand. It's okay; you're expected to say this. People believe in your skills and experience - that's why you got the job - but they don't expect you to be whizzing through things like an old hand during your first week.

Your first month

Sure, you're a little wet behind the ears at this point, but you should be starting to find your feet. Begin by taking personal responsibility for your professional development by subscribing to relevant blogs and joining the appropriate LinkedIn Groups. Ask company veterans about books you can read, and read them - it will give you some common ground with your seniors.

Start searching for a mentor - someone who can help you improve your job performance, grow your network and help you progress in the organisation. Make sure you gel with them. When you identify a mentor, see how you can work to help them out, no matter how big or small - it will keep you top of mind with them. Be considerate and direct. Make it clear you respect their experience and genuinely want to learn from them.

Days 31 - 60

It's time for you to start contributing. If you've identified a process that could be improved, then improve it. Maybe it could be automated, or it is double-handled by a few areas of the business. Bring this to your superior's attention and offer a solution. If you found a particular work process difficult, find a way to make it simpler - just make sure you're not diminishing someone else's job. Otherwise, it could have the opposite effect.

Start having conversations with people outside your area while on your lunch break and find out what they're working on. Ask whether there's anything you can do to contribute; this will help you make more connections across the business and will show your initiative. Further, you'll get exposure to new job roles and start developing skills beyond your traditional talents, which will come in handy when you apply for your next role.

Ask for constructive feedback and listen to criticism because it will help you improve your weaknesses, while also demonstrating you're capable of looking at yourself objectively and you don't take things personally.

Days 61 - 100

Establish some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound) objectives with your direct manager based on your job role, and work to achieve them. This will demonstrate your ability to meet - and hopefully exceed - expectations. It will also show your ability to develop a working schedule and manage a project on a small scale.

Set up a three-month review with your manager so they have a written record of your accomplishments and the challenges you've overcome. Use this as a chance to get feedback from your superiors on how you can improve, and set goals for the next three months.

If you follow this guide to your first 100 days, you should find yourself on the path to success. Good luck and have fun!