I got the job, now what?

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Starting a new job has such an uplifting feeling. The new people, office, commute, nuances all feel thrilling and keep you on your toes for the first couple of months. After working so hard to get your dream role, you find yourself unpacking your things at the desk (or maybe you have no desk!) and learning how to perform the job. Before long, you find yourself in a rhythm and the next question for you becomes “now what?”. Hitting the ground running was your main concern, but how do you use the start of a new job to help propel you forward?

Here are a couple of tips to help you grow in your new role immediately:

  1. Develop your career plan as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the end of the year when your manager asks you to fill one out. Managers are often too busy to truly dedicate their time to your development plans - so they will rely on your to tell them what you want to do. The easiest time to focus on this is when you have just started. You can set up an easy to follow habit of writing down your accomplishments on it too (pro tip!).

    1. Your career plan needs to focus on the intentions you had for the role when you first started. If you wanted to take on new tasks, put them in there.

    2. Try not to focus solely on “learning the job” for the first year. Most likely you’ll pick it up in less time than that - you’re going to need something else to help you feel challenged.

    3. What’s the next level above your role? Focus on building yourself into the competencies that make a great leader at your organization. Meet with your manager for a conversation about what those skills look like - or go even higher than that to your leadership at the executive level to get a sense of what those skills are. Make sure to write those into your plan - that will help ensure you’re aligned to the culture that you want to grow in.

    4. Look outside of your organization. Plan to include skill-based trainings that will help you do your job better.

  2. Network with your new coworkers beyond “work”. Be sure to get to know the main people you are working with, but also make sure you are networking outside of your department/subgroup. The most you get to know people who work there the more connected you will become to what’s happening outside of your job. This is incredibly helpful for cross-team collaboration and building your network. Taking coffee breaks, grabbing lunch, or simply sitting with a group of new people can help build your network and in turn give you the confidence and resources to succeed.

  3. Start looking at trainings that you can take. Keep your skill set sharp, looking for practical hard skills or new soft skills that will help you be a better professional and help you navigate the new culture that you’re in. New technical skills are great to help you land new project and collaborate on different teams if that’s what yours are. A lot of companies help to pay for things like this - so when you’re looking at trainings make sure to have a conversation with your boss so it’s organic that you’re looking to improve your tool kit.

Forming a long-term plan at your new job takes some work, but you’ll be really glad that you used your first year to do more than just learn the daily tasks. The first year is the best year to take advantage of these opportunities since you are new and still have the desire to explore, learn, and have yet to fully define your role and what limitations you may perceive with it. While you have enough newbie status, try to change things up where you can. Use your development to help you do just that so you continue growing and shaping your workplace.

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