Got the Job: Now What?
Recently I asked this question–Got the Job Offer: Now What? As you undoubtedly know, even when you accept an offer, that represents only the first step in your progress toward establishing a record of success in that position. You basically have a two-part process: short-term and long-term. Both parts need careful attention if you expect to keep moving forward in the right direction.
Short-term “Got the Job” Steps:
A few steps are critical to meet expectations facing you; others might be nice to do but not so critical. The following are just a few of the critical steps:
- If you haven’t already done so (you should have, if possible), get acquainted with not only those who will report to you (if any) and those to whom you will report, but also your peers in various parts of the company. One way to avoid stepping on an on-the-job landmine is to become knowledgeable about your territory and the other players as soon as possible.
- Make sure you know the short-term goals your boss has in mind for you and your group (again, this ideally should have been done before you accepted the offer, but now is better than later). Begin scoping out the most urgent challenges connected with achieving those goals. Look at them also in terms of how they are likely to fit in with the longer-term goals (more on that in a minute), so you aren’t proceeding in a haphazard manner that could cause disaster.
- Identify the resources you will need to achieve the short-term goals and where those resources exist. If a resource isn’t readily available, start working on finding out where you can tap into it.
Long-term “Got the Job” Steps:
Success in your new job is somewhat like trying to hit a moving target. You can never really say, “I’ve made it! Now I can coast or rest on my laurels.” As with the short-term steps, this stage of your progress depends on taking well-thought-out action on a consistent basis, including the following steps:
- You probably know already that your boss expects you to have an action plan covering more than just the next few months. If that expectation hasn’t been clearly stated, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting with your boss to clarify it and ensure that any actions you decide to take will support his or her expectations. Waiting until your first review to find out that you’ve missed the target is a bad idea!
- Look at the current situation, probable near-term events and possible trends that might be emerging in your company, industry, and so on. Assess those as realistically as you can and take them into account when doing your strategic, long-range planning. It’s impossible to know everything, but being aware of potential roadblocks ahead of time is much better than having them smack you in the face.
- Begin networking within your organization just as you would to land a new job. The more key relationships you can establish internally, the better your prospects should be within the organization in terms of potential career opportunities. At the same time, pay careful attention to pivotal relationships outside your company–existing and potential customers, vendors and partners. Remember: Your next career move could be out rather than up.
Find or Create Opportunities for Career Success
On rare occasions, a good opportunity might seem to just fall into your lap. However, there’s usually a way to trace that back to something you did or didn’t do earlier. Keep that in mind and watch for promising opportunities by seeing potential that others overlook and turning that potential into a resounding success story.