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Did you know that 4 out of every 10 professionals fail in their new work during the first year and a half?

The data comes from the MBA program at Penn State University. But that is not all. According to them, the first 90 days in a new job are critical and will shape the image that your bosses and colleagues will have of you during the next few years.

That is why knowing how to start off on the right foot in a new job is an essential skill that you cannot ignore if you want to build your professional career with success.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Investigate Everything You Can About the Company

You probably already did some of this while preparing for your interviews, but if not, you should at least know the basics. You should investigate everything you can about your company, your new friends and your boss.

Some aspects that you should know how to respond to include:

  • How many years has the company been in existence?
  • Who is the owner or CEO?
  • How many employees are there in the company or your department?
  • How are the different departments organized?
  • Who will you be reporting to? Who will be reporting to you?

You would be surprised about the things you can find out by investigating a little. on Linkedin. Maybe your boss or your colleagues worked in the same previous companies as you or studied in the same university.

This type of data can find it extremely useful to begin to build professional relationships from the first day.

2. Begin to Forge Your Alliances From Day One

Take the first 90 days to observe and learn. Identify the role and responsibilities of everyone in the company, which relationships exist, and with whom you can forge your alliances to help you get off to a good start in your new job.

The best way to begin to broaden your network of contacts from day one is to do favors for your colleagues Do not underestimate the power of reciprocity as you will be able to count on them in the future when you need a favor.

3. Learn the Company Culture

Each company has its own rules and its own way of doing things. The style of leadership, the way of working, and relations between employees are strongly linked to the culture.

It is completely different working in a tech or advertising company than it is to work in a large financial institution, for example, where the corporate culture is more formal. In the former, there is generally loose hierarchy and employees tend to relate peer-to-peer, whereas, in the latter scenario, hierarchy largely dictates who interacts with.

Learning and adapting to the company culture is critical to your success.

4. Anticipate

Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Anticipate the needs of the business or of your boss: is there any problem or some risk that your boss is ignoring? Have you discovered an area of improvement or action that could benefit the company?

Take some initiative and present the ideas to your colleagues and/or bosses.

5. Don’t Stop Learning

Make a list with the skills that would benefit you in your personal and professional career: Do you have the key competencies required to do your job to your greatest potential? Do you need to train in one area in particular?

If your company offers training courses, set a training plan with your manager and sign up for as many courses as necessary. They shouldn’t be expensive and you should definitely be prepared to demonstrate why it would be important to learn these new skills.

6. Set Achievable Goals

A good way to measure the progress of your career is by setting SMART objectives (Simple – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Temporary):

  • Simple: defines what you expect to achieve in your new company. For example promotion, a higher salary, or simply more autonomy or greater degree of self-realization.
  • Measurable: Set a measure of success of your goal. For example, a salary increase of 5%, attend X number of conferences, achieve sales growth of Y etc…
  • Achievable: Set realistic goals that are motivating, but that is not out of your reach.
  • Relevant: Your goal should have a purpose that is consistent with your vision of your long-term career.
  • Temporary: Keep track of your progress and update your goals according to your own realistic schedule. You could track your progress, for example, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or every 6 months.

7. Enjoy Yourself

None of the above tips matter if you do not enjoy your work. Happiness and a sense of fulfillment are what will make you wake up each day with enthusiasm to achieve your business goals. If you don’t love your job, then work on developing skills towards a position that you actually do.

That’s all for now. For advice on finding your perfect job, check this article out.

Good luck in your new role!

Written By
George Diaz is the owner of Spanish personal finance site Sobredinero.com. He is an experienced professional and holds an MBA from NYU Stern. He can be reached at george@sobredinero.com.

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