3 ways to start strong at your new job

Don't stop pushing professionally

Getting a new job is just the start. The first days and weeks in your next position are critical for institutional and personal success, Nicole Matros writes for Vitae.

The community college career coach outlines three lessons to keep in mind when you move into your new role.

1. Network right away—with more than just the usual targets.

"You should be in pure relationship-building mode. Whatever time you can spare should be spent in the company of new colleagues and teammates," Matros writes.

Focus this time on informational interviews, and be sure you're meeting with people not just above you but also those working below you and in areas only tangentially related to your responsibilities.

"Without a concerted effort, it's easy to feel like you are connecting with plenty of people—when the reality is, you are connecting with the most obvious people: the ones who naturally cross your path," Matros writes.

She suggests breaking out the staff directory and going through it.

2. Consider vision and execution when planning projects.

"Some of us are natural openers, relishing expansion, inspiration, and innovation. Others are natural closers, offering the means for the message, the practical steps, and the stratagems," Matros writes. 

How do you balance the need for efficiency with achieving strategic goals?

Don’t get caught up in big projects you can't make progress on in a few months—break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. Be sure to recognize team and personal success along the way.

3. Keep pushing your professional development.

You got the job, but your job isn't done. Comb through your résumé and look for holes—then prioritize projects that will fill in those gaps.

"Maintaining a job-market mentality even in the wake of a successful search is, in the end, the smartest way to start," Matros writes (Matros, Vitae, 8/8). 

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