Two Things to Avoid Doing At Your New Job
Did you know that the first 90-days at your new job are the most critical to your success? Michael Watson author of, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels states that you have 90 days to prove yourself. That’s it.
Professionals who achieve success in their first 90-days have a significant advantage over those who experience setbacks in their first quarter. At a new job:
- You want to make each day work for you.
- You want each day to boost your chances of long-term success.
- You want to experience positive momentum.
Let's look at two steps to increase the odds of keeping your job.
1. Avoid thinking your hardest work is behind you.
You worked hard at landing your new job. You made cold calls. You networked. You interviewed. You even negotiated your salary like a pro. The bottomline is that your job search was successful and you landed your dream job. In fact, you went out with friends and family to celebrate this auspicious moment.
Enter your first day of work:
As the confetti hits the floor from your celebration the night before, you wheel your chair up to the desk, take a sip of a latte, and dive in.
Relief sets in and you say to yourself, "Thank goodness, the job search is finally done and behind me are the emotions of rejection, shaken confidence, and at times discouragement." You're relieved as now you have actual cash flow.
But before you breathe too easily, understand one thing:
Beginning a new job is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
- You have a lot to learn.
- You have a lot of relationship building to accomplish.
- You have to prove yourself to be a good hire–someone that your employer wants to keep on the payroll when day 91 rolls around.
Here are some of the things you will observe at your new job:
- Team-players who lead by building consensus or lead by political power.
- Superstar performers who lead with their superior performance, charisma, and expertise.
- Leaders who collaborate or leaders who pitch decisions made behind closed doors by a select few.
- How challenging and conflicting issues are resolved.
- Expectations of your direct reports, boss, and peers in your new role.
Your hardest work is still ahead of you!
2. Avoid focusing on the technical side of your job.
In his bestselling book, Marshall Goldsmith discusses his angle of, “What got you here, won’t get you there.” For example, if you were a great mechanic, and now you’re managing a team of mechanics, you have to change your focus.
No longer can you simply focus on the technical aspects of your job. Your attention needs to be elsewhere. In fact, more than ever before, it matters less that you’re a skilled mechanic and more that you’re a skilled manager. Now it's much more important that you can train other mechanics to be skilled at their job. This makes your ability to communicate and teach, central to being a successful manager.
As a mechanic, you could grunt at the spark plugs or get angry at leaky brake lines. Now your ability to patiently train others is your primary focus.
In addition to training, managing conflicts will enter the scene and this will require you to possess diplomacy skills. David Rock, Co-founder, NeuroLeadership Institute explains:
"A world of increasing interconnectedness and rapid change, there is a growing need to improve the way people work together. Understanding the true drivers of human social behavior is becoming ever more urgent in this environment."
Finally, as the mechanic manager, you may be tasked with ensuring that a steady stream of clients are coming in the door. This may require you to possess superior organizational skills to manage work schedules, marketing strategies, and customer service standards.
What does focusing solely on technical skills implicate?
Certainly technical skills will enable you to train skilled mechanics, but eventually this would not serve you or your organization well because it's only one side of the equation.
Here’s how it might play out:
- Conflicts that reduce your team’s productivity and company profits.
- Employees not having enough work to keep them busy, forcing you to eat into profits or even lay employees off. . . which is very costly.
Any way you slice it, you lose.
While every job change is different, to succeed at your new job, focus on a combination of the technical and cultural parts of your new role. It’ll save your bacon and ensure that you can keep bringing it home.
Having a "clear career" is personal for James.
"Several years ago I was so stressed out from my job that I had a headache every single day from clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth. In fact, the stress of my job kept me up at all hours of the night and began to negatively impact my personal relationships, even my new marriage. I was tired, miserable, and began to think that I was hopeless.
I got a personal wakeup call when I ended up in the ER thinking I was having a stroke or a heart attack because I was taking every conflict at work to heart, and because I thought that every problem at work was all my fault.
That’s what it took for me to change, strike out in a new direction and find a new career where I can help people who are miserable at work, find new life and joy."
In James' quest to help hundreds of clients, he has earned a Master of Arts in Management & Leadership from Liberty University a long with multiple professional coaching and career certifications including:
- Essential Coach Training, Center for Coaching Excellence
- Professional Coach Training I, Center for Coaching Excellence
- Professional Coach Training II, Center for Coaching Excellence
- Certified Career Management Coach, The Academies
- Certified Brain-Based Success Coach, The Academies
- Certified Executive & Leadership Development Coach, The Academies
- Certified Job Search Strategist, The Academies
- MBTI© Certified Practitioner, CPP, Inc.
- 360 Reach Analyst Certification, Reach Personal Branding
- Professional Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
- Certified Brain-Based Success Master Coach, The Academies
- Academy Certified Resume Writer, Resume Writing Academy