On-the-Job Success Tips

As I’ve said before, it’s great when you land that new job you’ve been after, and you’re entitled to enjoy at least a brief celebration. However–and this is critical–you cannot rest on your laurels. You need to turn your successful job search into on-the-job success.

Some things are fairly obvious in that regard. You need to show up at work every day, on time and ready to go. You need to pay attention to what’s going on around you and what’s expected from you. You need to avoid the “out the door” sprint at 5:00 p.m. (Does anyone actually get to leave work at 5:00 anymore?) Other factors for on-the-job success might be commonsense at their core but might not always occur to you as soon as they should.

So I’ve put together a short list of tips to help you get your new job off to a great start–and keep it that way.

5 On-the-Job Success Tips

  1. Reconfirm what your boss’ expectations are for your performance in the new role. Of course, you should have gotten a clear indication of this before you accepted the position, but it’s wise to double-check to make sure nothing critical has changed and to confirm your understanding of the expectations.
  2. Refresh your memory and understanding of the key players you will be interacting with–and managing, if your role involves significant management responsibility. Spend some time getting to know each one and how he/she fits into the company structure. Try to keep an open mind, but also maintain alertness with regard to possible saboteurs (intentional or otherwise).
  3. Identify the resources available to you in your new role–whether financial, people or something else. If you have a budget to manage or to operate within, review your initial plans in the light of that. However, keep an eye also on non-financial resources you will need to depend on, including support from other departments, external vendors and so on.
  4. Establish clear expectations for the performance of any staff you supervise and then focus on how to provide the support they will need in order to perform their jobs at peak effectiveness.
  5. Develop and implement a system for tracking and monitoring your progress toward the goals you were given at the beginning (and those you set for your team). You should have created a contingency plan to allow for unpredictable changes that can make a mess of your original plans, so take a look at that periodically as well.

What About When You Hate Your New Job?

As the saying goes, “The best laid plans….” When you find you’ve landed yourself in a job that is (a) not what it was described as being or (b) not the good fit you thought it was going to be, what next? Do you walk around with a bad attitude until you can snag the first possible opportunity to jump ship and go somewhere else?

The impulse to do that might be strong, but it’s probably a really bad idea. That’s at least partly because your long-term career success–as opposed to on-the-job success in one situation–could depend a lot on the overall pattern of performance and commitment you establish. It needs to be one that you can point to with pride.

In a bad job situation, you should be looking for ways to contribute as much value as possible while you’re also considering when and how to take action on pursuing other potential opportunities. When you’re participating in job interviews to secure a new position, you’ll be in a stronger spot if you can point to one or more actions you’ve taken that have benefited the company you’re currently in.

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