career

The 8 things successful people do in their first three months in a new job.

Your first few weeks on the job can go by like a blur.

There’s a new office to navigate, new people to meet and an overwhelming amount of new information to take in.

And within this whirlwind is also the niggling pressure to make a good first impression in your new role.

The good news is it’s easier than you think to impress your new employer. According to career experts, these are the things successful people do in their first three months on the job.

1. Ask as many (relevant) questions as possible.

Bobbi Mahlab, managing director of employment agency Mahlab, tells Mamamia that the best thing a new starter can do is ask lots of relevant questions.

“Obviously not to ask them at inappropriate times, but just to keep a running list of the things that you want to know that you think can help you do the best job you can and understand the organisation you’re apart of,” Mahlab says.

“It’s equally important to be listening… and just really listening in general, absorbing as much information as you possibly can, is a great thing to do.”

2. Exude positivity and enthusiasm.

Bobbi, who co-founded a casual mentoring program for young women, says employers are looking for new employees to bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas.

“You want to be really positive. You want to be bringing enthusiasm, and energy, and ideas and positivity to the role,” the Mentor Walks Australia co-founder says.

3. Observe the culture before jumping in.

Career consultant Raelene Campbell tells Mamamia that as much as you might want to suggest sweeping changes and big ideas right off the bat, it’s best to hold back and observe your workplace before jumping in.

“When you’re in meetings you can observe how they’re run. Look at the values. Are they actually being lived in breathed in the company?” the Career: Take 2 director says.

Watch: Kerri-Anne Kennerly shares her tips for career success. Post continues.

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4. Set some clear goals – and work with your employer on how to reach them.

Bobbi says its important that new starters get clarity on their role and what they’re expected to achieve as early as possible into their new job.

“Some of the best performers I’ve seen is where people actually do a 30 and 90-day plan when they’re starting in a new role. And they’ll bring that plan to me and say ‘this is what I’m planning to do in my first 90 days. Does that align with your expectations?'”

Raelene adds that having a plan for what training and knowledge you need for your job is also a great idea. On that list of knowledge gaps to fill should be your workplace processes, culture and politics as well as more broadly the industry and market your company is in.

“Having a learning plan will also help alleviate some of that overwhelm that comes with excess of information,” she says.

5. Make time to catch up with everyone you work with.

It’s not just their immediate co-workers that successful people get to know in their first few months on the job, says Bobbi.

“Make sure you set up conversations with the people your working with, with your managers and other people in the organisation who are important to you being able to do your job well.”

Bobbi recommends setting up a time to grab coffee, eat lunch or have a short meeting with each person you’re likely to be interacting with on a daily or weekly basis, so you can get to know them better.

“It takes time to do that, and it also takes a bit of confidence, but it gives you a fantastic basis to your relationship going forward.”

Raelene also suggests trying to come away from the meeting with some insights that will make your relationship smoother, such as what their working style is and how they prefer to be communicated with.

6. Bring up any problems – with suggestions for solutions.

Checking in with your manager on a regular basis in those first few weeks is a good way to make sure you’re meeting expectations, says Raelene.

The career coach recommends having check-ins as often as once a week in the first month and once a fortnight after that – whether in person, over the phone or via email.

“It’s not just to take a checklist of what you’ve been doing. Also what you want to do is understand what you want your manager to do to support you.”

Now’s the time to bring up any issues you’ve found with your role or your workplace, Raelene says. Bonus points if you can also suggest a few solutions.

7. Set a precedent for your working schedule.

As tempting as it may be to stay back for hours each night to show what a dedicated employee you are, Raelene warns this is actually one of the worst things a new-starter could do.

“That’s a common mistake people fall into, but it’s actually leaving a really poor impression,” she says.

“You’re really showing to them that you’re out of control or you’re not coping with what’s on your plate or you can’t manage your time effectively.”

Raelene says it’s okay not to get everything done as long as you communicate that with your manager.

The other danger of working 12-hour days is that you set a precedent that’s hard to work back from once you’ve settled in.

8. Be kind to yourself.

Finally, Raelene says being kind to yourself is one of the most important things you can do to have a great start in a new job.

“Because we have such high expectations of what we can deliver and what we want to deliver, but balance it with being realistic. Don’t have too many expectations for yourself,” she says.

Remember, that colleague who’s doing things in five minutes that take your half an hour has already done it a hundred times before.

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