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You just got a job. Now What?

The job search process is often long, stressful, and exhausting. When do you finally get an offer, it’s easy to conclude that your work is done and that you can simply relax and settle into your new position. The reality, however, is that your work is just beginning, and if you take your foot off the gas now you jeopardize your long-term employment prospects. So finish your celebratory glass of champagne (or beer). Pat your self on the back for a successful search then follow these tips to help you get off to a strong start with your new company.

Establish Positive Relationships

To obvious? So many people don't realize this. Set the right tone on your first day.  Be enthusiastic. Be warm. Be friendly. Smile.  Do a cartwheel. (just kidding on that one)  You are making a first impression on everyone at your new job. Make sure that it’s a positive one. Be outgoing, make the effort to introduce yourself, and strive to be open, honest, and clear in all your interactions.

Produce Results

You have a lot to prove in your first weeks and month on the job. Let them know they hired someone that "has hit the ground running".  Of course, take advantage of whatever orientation /training period you are given. Be a sponge and soak up all those training materials and new ways of doing things.  But don't be a sloth. The  honeymoon period ends quickly. Take all that vim and vigor and establish yourself as a person who delivers on promises, meets deadlines, and produces tangible results.

Be Ambitious

Don’t be afraid to take on and even seek out extra responsibilities. These show your superiors that you are a value to the company and that you have even more to offer than expected.No one ever got fired for offering to do more.   Just don’t take on more than you can handle and compromise your core responsibilities.

Build Your Network

Get to know your coworkers, your superiors, and everyone you interact with.  You can learn from everyone. and they may even learn something from you.  The stronger and wider your network, the more resources you have to draw on when you may need help.

Create a Plan and Review it

Make a “personal development plan” for yourself that accounts for your short, medium, and long-term goals. This can help you better align the work you’re doing with your personal and professional ambitions. Review and update this plan regularly.

Bend your managers ear. (not literally)

Sometime within the first 90 days, sit down with your manger and do a quick gut check. Ask, "how am I doing-am I on the right course"?  "Should I be doing more in this area or less?" Get his/her opinion on where there may be opportunity to improve or are you doing what they expected.

Maintain Balance

All work and no play is no fun. It’s easy to throw yourself into a new job, but make sure that you maintain some kind of work/life balance. If not, you risk burning out, or creating expectations for yourself that you can’t deliver on over the long term. Work smart/hard but take time to recharge.

Remember that the impression you make in the first stages of a new job is one that will stick with you throughout your entire period of employment. Look great from the start, and you’ll ultimately rise higher, faster.

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