New Job and New Boss: Get Off On The Right Foot

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    Carla, a system analyst, has just been hired after months of job search. She ‘s highly motivated to succeed because her last position did not work out as she had hoped, particularly with her boss.

    She requested career coaching to help her start out right foot. Here are 5 questions I suggested to help her get to know the lay of the land and make a good first impression with her boss.

    1. What are your expectations?
    Get clarity on a number of things right from the beginning. It could include flexible or strict working hours, resources that will be provided, people you will be working with as well as your position tasks, responsibilities and authority.

    2. What’ are the top priorities for my job?
    Oftentimes, bosses assign employees more work than they realize. Asking him or her upfront what takes precedence makes your boss choose among the many projects you may have been assigned, This is important so you know how to budget your time. You want to know the top priorities and focus your time, energy and resources on these.

    3. What are the department’s top priorities?
    Figure out how to help him succeed in his job. If you understand what’s important to your boss, this will help you to meet and exceed his expectations. You also are striving, in the first weeks and months at your new job, to confirm that he made the right hiring choice

    4. How will I and what will I be evaluated on?
    It’s important to know how you and your boss will gauge your performance. You need to know what you’re working on matters and how your results will be measured. The more concrete information you have about performance expectations and outcomes, the greater the likelihood of meeting them.

    5. How do you prefer to communicate and how often?
    Realize that bosses, like most people, have different expectations in terms of frequency and method of communication. Does the boss want you to check in every day, every week or only when a specific project is happening? Does he want you to swing by unannounced, make an appointment, send an e-mail or call first?. So ask and adjust accordingly.

    Career Success Tip:

    Every boss is different and every company is different. Make sure you’re on the same page otherwise you’re in for a rude awakening . Therefore, when you first start a new job, always check your understanding and get feedback.

    For example, after your boss has explained something to you, it’s beneficial to summarize what you’ve heard so that the boss knows what information you retained and can fill in the details where you may have missed something. You can say something like, “Let me see if I understand this correctly … am I missing anything? Also see Tips for Starting a New Job.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?

    • For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
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    • Copyright © 2012 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.