Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Perform" Checklist for Your New Job / Internship

Discover (in advance)

• “Re-research” the position, organization, & industry Refresh memory on items such as the position description, the organization (your unit and overall), corporate culture, financials, personnel, work, politics, and norms. What are the key business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)? Know key issues within the industry. Research online presences of people. Organize a database to track this information.

• “Level set” with your manager If you know who your manager will be, contact him/her to thank for the opportunity, express how energized you are to start ,and further discuss about your orientation training, roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Among the conversation items at this meeting:
o Asking what you can do to prepare between now and when you begin your position
o Understanding boss’s key priorities and your performance objectives
o Identifying any immediate challenges you will face in the position
o Inquiring about the key people you should meet with prior to beginning

• Develop an “entry strategy” Enable solid relationship building on the first day you start in the position. This is a great time to start building your internal network. If possible, obtain a copy of the orientation program and an organization chart to avoid duplications when setting up entry tactics. Attempt to contact and / or set up meetings with those your boss recommended and with whom you will be working in your functional area. This should be done in purposeful order versus starting at the top or making random contacts.

Perform

• Establish a solid work “reputation” Display a positive attitude and energy. Demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency early on. Focus on “early impact projects” to achieve significant positive feedback. Write and present professionally. Show your passion. Stay current on developments in your industry and profession.

• Do a “superior job” Ask for clarity on scope, help, and feedback. When you first start a role, it’s not only acceptable but expected to ask questions. Frame your suggestions or ideas as enhancements rather than criticisms. Provide periodic updates on the progress of projects. Over communicating is generally preferred to no communication.

•Know your “elevator story” Particularly include what you want people in the company to know about you. Be able to expand or contract that story as time allots.

• Build your “brand” Schedule meetings, coffees, and meals with as many people INDIVIDUALLY as you can. Develop your network from the first day on-ward. Set a number per week as a specific goal. Prepare some professional development, informational interview, current events type questions. Listening skills are important to demonstrate. Be likeable through asking questions about them as much or more than you talk about yourself. Be respectful of time. Dress professionally. Smile.

• Find a “sponsor” This senior alliance’s influence can help you throughout your career while supplementing your mentor(s).

• Maintain “career momentum” Stay energized in your career—including revisiting your interests, skills,and values to make sure they are still aligned with your career path.

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