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Your First 21 Days (part 1 of 3) Getting Off to a Great Start


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Managing Self
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By Tom Davidson

Your first 21 days of a new job are the most important! Find out why, here: 

As Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” which is why you need to get off to a particularly good start whenever you start a new job. Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security, thinking that you have a “honeymoon period.” These days, you have to hit the ground running or run the risk of just hitting the ground!

That’s why you need to focus on three groups of people and what you need to accomplish with them during your first 21 days. We’ll discuss the first below and the rest in the blogs that follow in this series:

1. Your Supervisor – Understanding your supervisor’s goals for you and expectations of you
2. Your Staff – Learning each person’s history, goals and expectations of you
3. Your Stakeholders – Getting to know each of your primary stakeholders and their needs

Your Supervisor
Your supervisor may not have the necessary time for you during your first few weeks on the job and they may not have prepared for your arrival as much as they should. Nevertheless, it’s your responsibility – and it’s in your best interest – to collect the following information from him or her as soon as possible.

• What are his/her goals for the year ahead, and what’s your part in achieving them?
• What are his/her goals for you during the next 30, 60 and 90 days?
• How does he/she want you to communicate progress and how often?
• What would a successful start-up look like – to him or her – in your first 90 days?
• Who does your supervisor see as the primary stakeholders in your success (see also part 3 of this three part series)?
• What are your top three priorities and why?
• When can you have your first review, preferably at the three- or six-month point to ensure you are on track?

Would you start a long trip without a road map or GPS coordinates about where you’re going? Probably not. It’s the same thing with starting a new job. Find out where your supervisor wants you to be in the next 30, 60 and 90 days, and you’ll stand the best chance of getting there!

In my next blog we’ll discuss your next highest priority for your first 21 days, Your Staff.

What else should you find out from your supervisor as soon as possible in your first 21 days?


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