Getting the Job
If you start a new job or take a new position without determining what you want to achieve and of the challenges and obstacles you’re likely to face, you find yourself hitting the hard wall of reality before your first day is through. By then, it will be too late to plan and you will find yourself at the mercy of circumstance.
Plan in advance what you want to do in the new job. You will have to set aside some time to do this. Because you can rarely devote yourself to this while still working at your old job, it is recommended to take a vacation before starting any new job. Take as long a vacation as you need. If that is not possible, you should at the very least set aside several evenings and a weekend to develop your plan.
Take a walk in the forest or in mountains and talk about your upcoming job with your partner or a trusted friend.
The basis of all good preparation is to get as much information as possible about the company and the position you are stepping into. Obviously, you have learned a lot in preparing for the interview. However, you will have to delve deeper still. Read all the promotional and printed materials you can get your hands on. Find out what people working in the company are like and what the company’s overall image is.
Should you start a new job in a field you do not know much about, study relevant literature. You also can ask your future employer to advise you on what to read or ask to borrow the necessary materials.
Even if your new job is with the same company, take time to prepare yourself for a new and different position. People heading into a managerial position for the first time should understand that managing employees is far different from just being an employee.
Be sure you understand the following:
- What is your new position in the company?
- How successful is the department where you are about to start? Is its performance improving or worsening?
- Do your competitors show better growth? If yes, why?
- Can your competitors achieve lower prices or lower costs?
- Do your competitors offer better quality products or services?
- What do you want to improve and how do you want to do it?
You may not be able to answer all of the questions listed above, but you should think about them and develop a game plan.
Spend time thinking about the following areas:
- Costs and prices. Is it possible to provide your products and services more cost-effectively?
- Quality. Is it possible to improve the quality of your products and services?
- Customers. Is it possible to offer them the better service? Is it possible to treat them better than the competition? Is it possible to meet their demands more quickly and reliably?
- Employees. How do your future colleagues or team members work? Do they work as a team? What is the company’s management style like? What is your manager like? What kind of reputation does he have?
When preparing for a new job, don’t forget that you will need a lot of help. Before you start, think about whom you can turn to for guidance. You can find allies among the following people:
- Your manager. Your future manager and other members of the management team are responsible for your hiring or appointment. This requires them to help you. Any failure on your part is at least partially their responsibility. The extent of their help will depend on their personal interest in you.
- Colleagues in the department. Understand who your colleagues are and what you can expect from them.
- The other employees. People in the other departments (especially managers) often have a great interest in improving the performance of your department. Try to meet them and learn their opinions before starting the job.
- Customers, partners, suppliers. Visit key customers, partners and suppliers and find out what they think of your company.
You have to plan your first steps in the new company very carefully. Be aware of how you introduce yourself in the new company, what questions you ask, who you meet with and how you spend your day.
Make a plan for the first 100 days of your new job, making clear goals about what you want to achieve and setting simple, measurable targets to monitor your progress. If you do this, your chances for success will increase significantly. If you don’t plan ahead, it will be very difficult to catch up later down the road.