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New Job? Craft an Action Plan for Your First 100 Days

100 DaysBarack Obama finds himself and his performance under the media microscope for his first 100 days in the White House. Similarly, the first 100 days at a new job will give your boss and colleagues an introductory picture of who you are and what you can accomplish, and they will affect the perception your colleagues have of you.

Here are seven actions you can take during your first 100 days to ensure a successful start:

1. Calibrate Performance Expectations. Prepare a letter of expectations that articulates your views on what things you need to accomplish in this position, along with your expectations from your boss and colleagues. Share the letter with your boss and ask him or her to discuss it with you. This helps calibrate expectations and increases the likelihood of success right from the start.

2. Ensure a Smooth Transition. Find a colleague at work who can help you through the transition into this new workplace. Every company has unwritten norms and traditions that can affect your productivity and the perception of your work. The sooner you learn these norms, the more effectively you can use them to navigate successfully within this company.

3. Build Company Knowledge. Read the latest annual report, 10-K annual filing (if it’s a public company), and press releases to get a feel for where the organization is and what it would like to accomplish within the next two years.

4. Make Professional Connections. Join a professional association for your occupation and industry to begin expanding your professional network.

5. Control Perceptions. Go shopping and build a thrifty, flexible wardrobe that dresses you just a little bit better than your peers. First impressions are lasting impressions, and your first 100 days provide you with an opportunity to mold the perception others have of you.

6. Update Your Resume. Commit to updating your resume monthly with your latest accomplishments to ensure you don’t forget important results you have delivered.

7. Continue Your Education. Take a college class or professional development seminar that can help you in your new role. It’s also a great way to enhance your marketability and career security.

It’s important to start any new job by showing everyone they made the right hire through what you accomplish and how you can make a difference. By taking these actions, you can position yourself for better career success and security.

What do you think of these suggestions? What else would you recommend? Let us know with a comment.

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