10 Critical Things To Do When Changing Jobs!

Before you move on……there are 10 Critical Things You Need to Do When Changing Jobs!

moving-up-16814834Congratulations are in order! You are on your way to a new job. Your great resume and  your strong interviewing skills paid off! Exciting times ahead!!

But before you turn in your office keys, however, there are few things to take care of first:

  1.  Jot down full contact information for whomever in your company’s HR department will be processing your exit. You may need to contact them after you have left to iron out any details concerning your 401(k) plan, your COBRA coverage for a bridge until new insurance kicks in, etc.
  2. Print out your address book entries if it is on your employer’s server or in the cloud via your employer’s network. Once you leave you will no longer have access to it. If possible import it into your personal email account and then delete the ones that are not of value.
  3. Forward to your personal email account any emails in your work email account that you want to save or be able to reference in the future. If there are emails that you can add to your “Brag Book” (see my blog post) be sure to do so. While you are at it…see if there is anyone in the organization that might write a letter of recommendation for you that you can include in your Brag Book. Be sure that it includes specifics vs generalities. Don’t overlook others outside of the organization that you might have dealt with – vendors, etc.
  4. Change the details in your LinkedIn profile so that contact info is your personal email and not your work email. Same for other social media.
  5. If you have used your work email address for any credit cards, frequent flyer accounts, etc. be sure to change them. Often that process requires verifications sent to the original email…and you can’t do that if you no longer have access!! Same for phone numbers if you had a company cell phone and used that number as contact info for credit cards, etc.
  6. Know what you are entitled to with regard to un-used vacation pay. Sick pay usually isn’t paid but vacation pay is. If you have receipts to put against a Flex Plan do so…and find out where to send them after you leave to clean out the balance left behind.
  7. Pack up your stuff …but only YOUR stuff!! If you have some of your employer’s stuff at home – bring it in and be sure someone vouches for its receipt.
  8. If there will be an exit interview think it through and prepare for it. If there are areas where improvement can be made and that won’t be overly critical of the organization or specific people – mention it. Don’t, however, blast people or policies that can’t be fixed or that you are critical of but others don’t seem to be. Remember….you will need the organization’s goodwill in the future for a reference.
  9. If you have an employment agreement, get a copy of it. If it includes prohibitions against certain practices once you have left – know what they are and observe them.
  10. Finally make the rounds. Thank all you have worked with for the opportunity to do so and let them know how to reach you if you can be of assistance to them in the future.

Good luck!!follow me on twitter

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

My LinkedIn profile

 

 

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Lose Your Job!

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Lose Your Job!

Getting a new job is hard work…and you don’t want to undo it by either adopting or reverting to some really bad career habits! Whether you are new to the job….or you are a tenured employee…here are five habits of highly unsuccessful people. Purge them bad habitsfrom yourself and safeguard against them creeping into your daily behavior. These on-the-job-habits are often fatal to jobs …and careers if not corrected.

Fact – when your behavior becomes disruptive to team performance, attitude, moral and overall harmony – the boss’s job is to “fix it”. Often that means firing you if earlier steps of progressive discipline have failed to resolve it.

Fix these five factors in your mind and do a self-examination to see if you are guilty of any of them. Ask trusted co-workers if you are guilty of any of them. Job and career success are dependent on you NOT wearing any of these “hats”.

Keep in mind that the business section of the newspapers and publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Business Week have story after story of CEOs that have lost their jobs due to “management style”. This really means that they couldn’t get along with the right people; they have behavior habits similar to anyone of these five factors!

Ford Motor Company Chairman Henry Ford II fired the very successful Ford President Lee Iacocca with the comment “I just don’t like you” ending years of disharmony between  the two. An extreme example of mannerisms costing someone a job!

1. Gossip. Don’t participate in the chatter than can pollute a workplace. A comment or observation leads to someone turning it into a fact. People start discussing the non-fact and speculating on outcomes. At its extreme it undermines reporting relationships, creates distrust and can destroy the harmony of a team. Rest assured if you participate you will be quoted and if  your boss catches wind of your involvement one too many times … out you might go. The reason?….  “enough is enough”.

Use as your benchmark the “Momma and Washington Post (or your local newspaper) Rule”. Say nothing that you aren’t prepared to see quoted on the front page above the fold and delivered to your mom’s (or your boss’s) front door.

Stay away from those do gossip and if you must interact with them do so only in conjunction to the job to be done. When they raise the gossip factor, simply say “I do not want to discuss that or get into that….and you’d be wise to also do the same”.

2. Assertive or Aggressive Body Language. When making a point don’t stab your index finger in the air like a dagger – it is insulting and overly aggressive. Don’t cross your arms when others are talking – it says “I don’t agree”. Don’t roll your eyes when someone says something your disagree with – it mocks the point they are making. You need to avoid judgmental body language; when it gets to the point that no one wants to interact with you… it might be time for your boss to clean house.

3. Offensive and Inflammatory Statements. Avoid inflammatory statements such as “Let me tell you something” or “Trust me on this”. It isn’t just the words… they are usually accompanied by an assertive approach. When that occurs, it is a total annoyance at best on the part of whomever you are talking to. Purge from yourself those annoying (and predictable) statements and comments.

4. Mood and Attitude Swings. When you are up and enthusiastic one day and moody and uncommunicative the next, it confuses and annoys people. Consistency of behavior is important to teamwork and understanding co-workers. When your presence becomes a drag on others you have become a supreme annoyance to others. No one wants to work with a team member for whom the glass is usually  half empty! When it impacts productivity, it is not uncommon for a boss to step in to solve it…often by termination.

5. Poor Clock Management. Tardiness, late for meetings, reports and work not done on time, not returning phone calls in a timely manner (or not at all!) Reliability and dependability is critical to a team. You waste the time of others when you are not on time. It drives those that are on time nuts! Think “Lombardi Time”* …. 10 minutes early is ON TIME!

OK… unless you have an extremely tolerant boss, five  sure-fire ways to lose your job is to participate in any of these areas. Keep them in mind as you go through the work day and be determined to not let any of them represent who you are!

* “Lombardi Time” comes from a characteristic of the legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi (the Super Bowl Lombardi Trophy is named for him). There are lots of different versions of what constitutes “Lombardi Time” as it became known. One is “Ten minutes early or it’s too late.” It became well known that Lombardi expected his players to be 10 (some say 15) minutes early for all meetings – what he actually told them probably varied, so an exact quote may not be possible to determine.

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

My LinkedIn profilefollow me on twitter

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

4 Tips to Successfully Start a New Job!

4 Tips to Successfully Start a New Job!

Top 4Just as there is “only one first impression”…so it is with starting a new job. Start off poorly and you will at best be playing catch-up. You wrote and re-wrote your resume, you interviewed  successfully and accepted a job offer. There is still much to do to leverage that job offer into the next step towards a successful career!!

Print this blog post and carry it with you as you begin your new job. Refer to the 4 tips and be sure you follow them!!

1. Introduce yourself to everyone. Especially those in other departments that you run into in the cafeteria, parking lot, hallways, etc. With the same confident smile and handshake you used during all of your interviews. Have an introductory statement “Hi – my name is Robb Mulberger and I am the new controller  here at XYZ.” Make note of their name and ask where they work in the organization if it is not offered. As soon as you can write it down – in fact you can do it right on the spot with the comment “I have met so many new people here – I want to jot down your name to help me get acclimated!” Enter all of these into your contact list but also prepare a typed “cheat sheet” you will carry with you until you know who is who. Always address people by their names – “Hi Bill”…or “Good morning Susan” – not just a simple “Good morning” –  it will impress folks that you took the time to remember their name, especially those you don’t interact with on a regular basis!

2. Be organized. I use Outlook’s calendar feature synced to my iPhone. I make liberal use of the “alert” feature when adding an appointment or task via my iPhone (“reminder” on your PC’s Outlook access) to prevent me forgetting an appointment or pre-determined action to be taken (make a phone call, mail a document, etc.). I also print the Outlook calendar month-by-month for six months and carry it in my briefcase . On it I pencil in appointments since it was printed as I enter them either via my PC or iPhone. Never throw away past months – keep them as a diary of past events. The objective is to be really organized and never miss a task. Get up to speed with your employer’s internal communications processes (email, tele systems, etc.).

3. Create a job reference manual. In addition to the “cheat sheet” list of names and job responsibility you created, make note of other helpful pieces of information such as your new company’s website and site map to find employee information, mission statement, etc. During the interview and hiring process you no doubt determined how you would be evaluated and what the definition of success in your job is. Write this down in bold ….burn it into your brain… so as you go about your job you are focused on what is important to your success.

4. Listen more than you talk … at least during your first few months on the job. Be sure you know the “lay of the land” before you offer any opinions. Few things are more of a turn-off than a new person becoming a know-it-all! Listen and learn how things are done before you chime in.

OK… 4 tips to successfully starting a new job. Follow them and you will get off to a good start to career success!

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

My LinkedIn profilefollow me on twitter

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

 

 

Moving Up the Career Ladder; How to Get that Next Job

Moving Up the Career Ladder; How to Get that Next Job

MovingUpTheLadderA job can be static – no change from day to day. A career, however,  is a progression; increased responsibility, new experiences, increased knowledge and wisdom, more money and usually a more rewarding position.

The big question is – how to make it happen after several years in the same job? You know your job inside and out… and do a good job of it. How to leverage it into your next career step?

Keep in mind that while luck plays a part in any success story, lucky people also make their own good luck! With that exception, however, your career and career path is no one’s responsibility but yours! So – how do you go about building a career path?

Like almost every endeavor – you need a plan:

1. Put together a “brag book”. It really isn’t a book and it isn’t bragging if you actually did it! Create two files – and suggest you make them both digital as well as hard copy.

  • File #1 – a series of documents you have written that detail your achievements and accomplishments. e.g. – “Chaired companywide meetings and efforts to define needs and requirements for a new phone system.” Or “Member of a small steering committee responsible for moving our offices to larger quarters including acquiring all new furniture and installing modular work stations.” These statements will end up in your resume and be talking points for future job interviews. This file includes any certificates you have received for participating in training sessions, community events, etc.
  • File #2 – includes copies of every performance review as well as letters and emails from other complimenting  you on your work. If you get a favorable  comment from a co-worker, supervisor, customer – anyone – document it in this file. Just be sure to include what it was about. “Bill told me thanks and that I was doing a great job” won’t hack it. Rather “Bill complimented me on the results we achieved for 3rd quarter – we were under budget for costs with zero errors” –  more like it!

This file will also provide material for future interviews and your resume but unlike file #1, these come from third parties and are “endorsements” if you will. When you get one – ask the person giving it to go to your LinkedIn profile and “endorse” you for that skill or area of performance. Be assured your LinkedIn profile will be reviewed by every prospective employer and you want those endorsements there!

2. Look ahead to the options available for your next job – specifically if with your current employer and generally if you need to move to a different organization to move up the employment food chain. e.g. –  if you are a staff accountant, your next job might be accounting manager, controller, A/R – A/P manager or some accounting specialty (tax, payroll). If a salesperson, perhaps sales supervisor or lead account sales.

 3. Once identified, research what you need to have in the way of experience and accomplishments to be eligible to apply for that next step. You can ask for more responsibility in your current job or the areas you seek. Offer to assist others….anything to gain the requisite experience. Identify people  who either have or have had the jobs you aspire to. Talk to them and ask them candidly to evaluate your candidacy for such a position. Talk to staffing service professionals that work in your area of expertise and ask them the same questions.

Your objective is to really understand what you need to possess on your resume in addition to the contents of the two files in your “brag book” to be qualified for the next step. Furthermore to know where your shortfalls are so you can work on them.

Also keep in mind that the process is not finite; organizations and hiring authorities have varying standards that must be met – some make sense and some may not. The only way to know for sure is to test the waters. With your current employer ask your boss, “I want to move up in the department – where do you see the opportunities are for me and what do I need to do to be qualified for them”. Register with one or two really good staffing services and go thru the  process of interviewing for a new position. Discreetly if currently employed; you don’t want to jeopardize the bird in hand!

4. Finally – exhibit positive factors critical when interviewing such as:

  • Possess and exhibit a great attitude.
  • Possess and exhibit a great work ethic.
  • Mirror the behavior, dress and communication skills of those you see as role models.
  • Understand and “talk the talk” of your current employer; exhibit pride to be working there –  be an ambassador for the organization to the outside world.

And as you go through the process – be reasonably patient. See my post of March 18 “To The Kid At The End Of The Bench – Careers and Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight”.

You don’t want to be someone who changes jobs every 2 or 3 years…unless it is with the same employer.  Changing employers frequently brands you as a “job-hopper”!

Good luck moving up the career ladder!

Follow me on Twitter to be notified of new posts to this blog.

follow me on twitter   My LinkedIn profile  

See new job listings at www.nri-staffing.com

 

How to Position Myself to Achieve Optimal Interest from Prospective Employers?

I received an email from a job-seeker referred to me as a result of one of my university alumni webinars.

The email asked the question “…how to position myself to achieve optimal interest from potential employers?…and asked about the value of a career coach.

My response was:

The answer lies in the fact that qualifications and experience speak for themselves when properly packaged.

For example a degreed accountant who is currently a controller will respond differently (with regard to resume, cover letter and marketing effort) when applying for another controller position vs an accounting manager position. The first will stress hands-on accounting skills and knowledge; the second will stress management, problem-solving and leadership skills and knowledge.

So first define what  it is you are specifically seeking – and it can be more than one career target. For each career target – fashion a resume, cover letter and marketing plan that speaks to what an employer would want. For example – a firm seeking a tax attorney will want to know how current the knowledge base is, how recent the relevant experience is, etc. You have a number of career paths already somewhat in place but you need different versions of your resume and cover letter to focus on them individually.

As you define career targets… think to where the opportunity lies …go after the “low-hanging fruit” (the positions and career targets that are on the upswing vs those that are not). For example any positions in print journalism are not career targets that makes sense at this time. Research the possibilities for your selected career targets.

So my advice to you is:

  1. Read my book . If you don’t think it has value – let me know and I will refund your money.
  2. Come up with several career targets based upon your personal ambitions coupled with your experience and apply a dose of reality to them based on trends and your research.
  3. Fire up your network and once you have resumes and cover letters in order – follow the advice in Chapter 9 – “Uncovering The Hidden Job Market”.
  4. If you feel a career coach might be of value – sound out the following two individuals – and see if what they offer has value for you. I recommend both  – feel free to  use my name as an introduction.

Angelo Agrafiotis – 973.283.8161 – apagrafiotis@aimlifecoaching.com – www.aimlifecoaching.com Angelo is in New Jersey.

Marshall Brown – 202.518.5811 – marshall@mbrownassociates.com – www.mbrownassociates.com

Marshall is in DC.

Good luck and let me know how it is proceeding!

Robb Mulberger

LinkedIn  twitter.jpg 

 

 

Where Can I Find Job-Seeking Resources in my Area?

The following is another question asked following the webinar I did for the alumni of Georgetown University entitled “Resumes, Interviewing and the World of Work” along with my response:

Hi Robb!

Thanks so much for the interviewing and resume seminar. I live in the Denver, CO area and wonder if you have any recruitment services you can recommend to me in this area.

Many thanks!

Glad it was of value!

I suggest three approaches to finding a staffing service in your area that can be of service to you.

ASA webFirst – go to www.americanstaffing.net – the website of the American Staffing Association. Go to the “Job Seekers” tab and take it from there to find several staffing services in your area of experience/expertise as well as in the Denver area.

The second thing is to talk to friends and business contacts and ask them which staffing services they have used in the past and get their feedback.

Third – regardless of how you come up with a staffing service or two to consider working with – vet them. I cover in great detail how to do so in my book, but essentially you want to “interview” them as to their ability to be of service to YOU!

Ask such questions as:

  • How long has your firm been in business?
  • How long have you been a recruiter?
  • I am looking for a position as a controller or accounting manager. How many orders like that have you personally filled in the past year? How about your firm?
  • How many people work in your firm?

You get the idea!!

For further information, buy my book and read Chapter Six – “How to Best Use a Staffing Service Company/Headhunter” (shameless book pitch!!)

twitter.jpg         LinkedIn

Enough is Enough!! Stop Talking and Let’s Get on With It !!

stop_talking_tshirtA major annoyance for most of us is a conversation with someone that never stops talking!

You almost have to wait until they take a breath to get a comment or question in!

Learning how and when to “shut up” is both a behavioral habit as well as a leadership trait.

According to  Mike Staver of The Staver Group – www.thestavergroup.com – many people don’t know when to talk and when to put a brake on it.

Here are a few questions to determine whether you know how to keep your mouth shut or not:

  •  After you make your point, do you just have to add a few other (unnecessary) comments?
  •  Do you say “in closing” several times before you really close?
  •  Do you have to have the last word in an argument or disagreement?

Here are some communications tips from Staver:

  •  Be clear about what you are attempting to communicate.
  •  Share with the person you are communicating with what you want to accomplish.
  •  Avoid getting distracted by other issues, ideas, points, stories, etc. (I refer to this as “wandering around the verbal landscape”! With folks that do this, you just want to scream “Stick to the point”!!)
  •  Use “talk-ending” techniques such as “So what are the next steps?” or use an example to wrap things up.
  •  Learn to tolerate silence. It is effective…and it won’t kill you, Staver says!

“Leadership – never stop learning”

     twitter.jpg

NRI – metro Washington,DC’s premier staffing service for over 45 years!

Your First 90 Days on the Job

I wrote earlier about four critical things you must do when you start a new job (July 17 ‘13 post).

90-day-plan-300x206To recap:

1. Figure out who the key players are in your arena…and spend serious face time with them.

2. Determine how you will be evaluated.

3. Determine what the really important things are.

4. Be on the way to becoming a “Go To” person.

They are critical and should be your first priority…but there a few other very important things  you need to pay attention to during the critical “break-in” period….your first 90 days on the job.

1. Create a personal game plan…. and update it weekly. This personal game plan will be very short term initially… you can’t make plans for what you don’t know (yet). It is essentially a “To Do/To Follow Up On” list broken into groups – the groups being different direct reports (subordinates), different projects, different things you are waiting for something to come back your way for additional action, etc.

Although there are all sorts of online and smartphone/PC applications for such things, I have always preferred to keep this very simple – an 8 ½ x 11 lined pad with pages devoted to each “group”. Makes it easy to refer and write to it day and night. The top sheet is blank except for my name and tele # and a request to get it to me if found – it is really important to me… and while I have never lost one… that doesn’t mean I won’t someday <smile>!

Just label each page as to who/what it applies to…when full… go the next blank page. Number the pages by group.

Much of it will truly be “To Do/To Follow Up On” things.. but the reason I reference it as a “game plan” is that it will also have a series of personal objectives there as well. I use a few sheets at the very end of the pad to jot them down and update/revise as necessary.

By putting it all on one pad, it is easy to stay on top of your entire breadth of responsibilities…and it goes with your everywhere! And when it is full – don’t throw it away for a year or so… you might be surprised to see how often you go back and refer to it.

Finally – due to the nature of what you have recorded here – you need to safeguard it very carefully!!

2. Create a reference guide…and update it as frequently as daily. This is a continuing list of “stuff” you will refer to from time to time – such things as procedures, names , tele numbers and email addresses, driving directions, tax ID #s, important deadline dates for whatever  – you get the idea – the stuff you don’t want to have to look up or ask about a second time.

As of this writing, there is a neat pc program called “Evernote” that can really make life easier in this regard.  http://evernote.com   Install it on your PC and your smart phone.. and synch them. That way you can do data entry and retrieval from either. Of course names with tele numbers, addresses and email addresses go into whatever program your employer has set up – usually Outlook.

3. Get a grip on whatever numbers are important to your sphere of responsibility.

You gotta know the numbers. Sales, margins, costs, profits, percentages, ratios, benchmarks. Whatever is important to the objective of getting it done on time and on (or under!) budget.

Every business has ratios and relationships. For example a friend in the hotel business tells me that she staffs housekeepers based on 14. One housekeeper per 14 rooms to be cleaned. Every sales position has a ratio of contacts to presentations to closes. Find out which ratios are relevant to your job, your department, etc.

4. Determine who the external resources are and establish contact with them.

If your job requires you to deal with others external to your organization, make a point to determine who they are and make contact with them.  They might be customers or vendors. They may be outside resources such as lawyers, accountants, bankers, auditors, etc.

Talk to your boss to determine who they might be and be pro-active by reaching out to them. Introduce yourself and let them know they can count on your for whatever role has been the norm in the past.

OK… you now have some guidelines and marching orders for your first 90 days in your new job!

Feel free to post here for the benefit of others your thoughts and ideas you have found successful in this regard!! Thanks!!

        twitter.jpg

Taking Charge When Taking Over

Taking Charge When Taking Over

Where to begin when you are hired to be the boss??

take_charge

By Marshall Brown, CPCC, President Marshall Brown & Associates. Published in Association TRENDS. Reprinted with permission. While this specifically is geared to a trade association executive, the issues are the same that need to be addressed when a manager at any level is hired to take over an existing team.

Q: I recently became the CEO of a mid-sized association and will be managing a staff of 30. I would like to develop and convey some clear expectations for the staff and give the directors some guidance on implementation. Any tips would be appreciated.

Brown: Too often, executives seem to lead through mental telepathy. Rather than set and communicate clear expectations – the milestones against which we test our progress – they assume their managers and employees know what to do and how to do it. What results is hesitation, indecision and uncertainty. Healthy teamwork, initiative and productivity go out the window.

Properly setting expectations for directors and employees/team members is a critical dimension in quality workplaces, according to a study of managers undertaken in the 1990s by the Gallup Organization. Below are some tips for both you and your directors on setting clear expectations that will set standards for excellence and results:

1. Start with a vision of what you want the end result to look like. Not just what you want done, but the results you want to achieve when the project is completed.

2. Discuss how you define “excellent performance.” Paint a complete picture. Refer to your performance review form. Don’t assume.

3. Focus on the desired outcome, not on describing each and every step. Your goal is to guide, not control. Letting individuals find their own route toward productive outcomes encourages them to use their strengths.

4. Tie the mission of the department to each job. People want to know that their role, whether large or small, makes a difference.

5. Put the expectations in writing.

6. Stay on the sideline. You may be tempted to step in and ‘play the game’ for a subordinate, but if you do, no one will learn.

7. Give feedback, and often! The annual performance review is too late to let staff members know how they are meeting your expectations. Schedule informal review time weekly (quarterly for larger departments). Feedback given along the way sounds more like coaching, not like punishment.

8. Ask for staff members’ feedback on how they think they are doing. Two-way communication clarifies expectations.

9. Give positive reinforcement. Don’t mix negative and positive. Mention the thing you like and you’ll get more of it. Be specific and prompt.

10. Don’t take it personally. When staff members don’t perform as you think they should have, look for solutions, not blame.

This article was originally published in the March 2011 edition of Marshall Brown & Associates’ It’s All About You! Ezine.

twitter.jpg

If looking for opportunities in metro Washington, DC – check out NRI’s job listings on our website!

NRI logo

Four Things You MUST Do When You Start A New Job!

Four Things You MUST Do When You Start A New Job!

first 90 daysGetting “On Board”; What To Do…and Not To Do… in the First 90 days!

OK.. you just started your new job or you will very soon.

Just because you have accepted an offer doesn’t mean  your job search is over!! Part of a successful job search is to become acclimated and begin to make meaningful contributions as quickly as possible. Your objective is to cement key relationships, get the lay of the land and ….make no mistakes.

Have you ever seen a football player on the way to a sure touchdown inexplicably drop the ball….or stumble and fall…or quit running 100% and get tackled? It happens!! In each case, the player quit before the job was done.

Well, your job search isn’t “done” until you are “On Board”!

As the phrase goes “First Impressions Count”…and think of the first impression period to be the first 90 days. Give yourself a maximum of 90 days to:

1. Figure out who the key players are in your arena…and spend serious face time with them. Not so much that you become a pest, of course, but your objective is to really get to know them and where they fit in. Your boss is  one of them of course, but who are the others? Typically, they are those who depend on you for specific assistance or performance on issues and those upon who you likewise depend. Tread cautiously  in conversation; some will be more private than others…and don’t get caught up in company nonsense or politics… but engage them professionally to see what makes them tick.

But beware – it may not end with this group. You need “EA” – “Environmental  Awareness” to know for sure who fits into this category. For example you want to have a good speaking relationship with the security guard, the cashier in the company cafeteria and the main building receptionist. Even though you don’t count on them directly nor they of you – you want them singing your praises!

2. Determine how you will be evaluated. What is the criteria that your boss will grade you on to determine if he or she made a great hire… or an “ok” hire? You should have started this during the interview process. Now that you have been hired, you probably have a pretty good feel for what those criteria are… but regardless, have that conversation with your boss during the first few days on the job.  As the first few weeks roll by confirm that you understood the criteria correctly… and do they reconcile with what you see? Check out the organization’s mission statement. Take the temperature on your performance by scheduling some time with your boss every week or so to ask “How am I doing? ….am I missing anything?…etc.”

3. Determine what the really important things are. And be aware they may not be what they seem to be. Is there an overriding project that senior management is really counting on coming in on time and on budget? Are there major problems or issues to be resolved? Making sure that the “trains run on time” is important, but you need to determine what is #1 on your bosses’ “To Do” list and on his bosses’ “To Do” list as well. You don’t want to be guilty of doing a great job on the mundane, but not really earning your pay by making significant and real contributions to the mission and objectives of your department, your boss and the organization.

4. Be on the way to becoming a “Go To” person. Everywhere of course… but particularly in the areas of greatest importance to the organization. Be curious…see and understand the big picture…pitch in at every opportunity you can to make a difference. Be aware of “turf” issues; always volunteer “Can I give you a hand on this”. And rather than volunteer opinions, ask “Would you like my thoughts on this?” If you see something that doesn’t look quite right – either take care of it… or bring it – diplomatically – to the attention of someone who can take care of it. Being a true “Go To” person requires very good EA (as defined above); you really need to see and be aware of what is going on – both in front of and behind the scenes! Note – this also requires that you do so in an upfront and transparent manner… you are above board at all times!

As a “Go To” person… as time goes on, you will be valued for having been in on the ground floor of past projects, successes, things that didn’t go as expected, etc. It is that collective experience and knowledge that begin to magnify your contributions.

OK… four things to achieve in the first 90 days on the jobwrite them down and post them on where you will see them daily… and then pledge to make progress towards achieving them…daily. Good Luck!

NRI logoCheck out my company’s website blogs and job listings in metro Washington, DC:

www.nri-staffing.com

twitter.jpg