Part 5: How to be successful within the first 60 days of any new job: “Why”
In the final entry of our series, we will look at the most important success factor within the first 60 days of any new job, the “why” – as in, “why am I here?”
This element comes last because it generally comes near the end of the 60 day period (and in some cases even after the first 60 days has concluded). The “why” is about purpose and because it is so substantial, it is not something that should be rushed.
While the “what” more closely relates to a job description or set of responsibilities that are applicable to anyone who takes on your job, the “why” is more about the unique work that you do.
The “why” is about impact. It is about leaving your mark.
When you start a new job you should always be on the hunt for things that you can do to improve the organization. Look for initiatives to lead or things to be a part of that go above and beyond what your boss considers to be your job.
Finding out why you are in a position and then following it through to completion will be a key influence to the raises you receive, the bonuses you are offered and the career opportunities (for promotion or otherwise) that you are given.
The positive “mark” that you leave on an organization does not have to be a grand ordeal, simple things work too. The main thing to keep in mind is that you should do something that will last long after you have moved on to a new job.
A large strategic partnership, organization restructuring effort or redefining of a process can be great things to be a part of to leave your mark, but the genesis of the idea does not have to be grand. Focus on an issue that you see over and over again. Think about the pain points of others (your customer or co-workers alike), then brainstorm ways to improve them.
A good way to put it in context is to identify a responsibility you can take on or an initiative you can create that will allow you to accomplish something worthy of being listed on your resume.
When I was managing a call center, I found that morale was an issue. Shortly after starting the position, we had to move offices, finding a new space in another location 45 miles away. All the employees were experiencing a big change in their normal day to day routines (commutes and otherwise) and it took a toll on everyone’s attitude. I saw this situation as an opportunity.
I teamed up with a peer of mine and we created the “Morale Committee.” We brought together volunteers throughout the organization who wanted to help improve office morale and get our teams past the adjustment period after moving offices. We put together recognition events: raffles, birthday celebrations, contests, and soon morale really improved and more people wanted to be part of the committee. It ended up that for a few years after I left the committee lived on, maintaining the high level of morale within the office and leaving a lasting impression of the impact I had made.
No matter how big or small, find ways that you can leave a positive impact and create fulfilling reasons why you should be in the job you are in.
To summarize, within the first 60 days of any job, remember the Who, What, How, Where and Why:
- Who are you
- What is your job
- How do you manage
- Where do you position yourself
- Why are you here
When you have each of these down, you will be well on your way to being successful in any new job. It was the successful implementation of these 5 things that led a manager of mine to say to me during a performance review three months into my job, “In my 25 years working you are the best person I have ever hired for any position I have ever hired for.” Others who I have shared this formula with have experienced similar results.
I hope this formula can bring you the same level of success.
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