“Complacency and resting on your laurels are the enemy of progress, change and building on success”. G Peterson Condon.
2 August 2019. Week 8.
So, you have a win, a job offer, does one just sit back, relax and do only what is required to keep the job? I just received an awesome offer, and as I have done with every job I have been mentally and emotionally invested in, I will seek to improve myself and give outstanding service to the role. This is the only way forward in my books; jobs with no change and no room for improvements are stale and stagnant and don’t suit my personality.
Yes, I do enjoy a good bit of structure, a standard, a benchmark for the way things should be, but inert life is a vacuum; empty, lifeless and sterile. I am pleased to say that I love to learn and continuously improve so that life becomes full and productive. You have to feed success, or it withers and dies. So how do we do this?
Firstly, we make a plan to guide us through the early days of a new job. There are excellent templates and “how to’s” if you Google “30,60,90-day plans” (I appreciate my eldest son for the head’s up for this one). In short, the plan helps you transition from shy newbie to valued employee and awesome team-mate in a quantifiable form.
It can be too easy after a long slog of searching for work, studying hard, desperately trying to improve one’s situation, to want to relax once the goal has been achieved. I believe this is the very time to ramp up the energy and work hard at building a sustainable yet ever-improving position in your new role. Planning helps to give focus to objectives and is a great way to map how far you have come at each goal achieved. It shows areas of strength and areas for improvement and keeps your head in the game. Basically, the 30, 60, 90-day plan sets out the learning stage, the personalisation stage and the adaptation stage.
- The learning stage of the first 30 days is self-explanatory. You are learning everything you can of the company and how things are done; the company culture, your expected role and your place in the hierarchy. There is lots of contemplation, critical thinking and most importantly, listening. Stay in touch with your manager for how you are progressing and reward yourself for milestones reached such as learning a new software program or finishing a project.
- The personalisation stage of the next 30 days is where you begin to see where improvements to processes might be needed. Hopefully you will find it is a proactive workplace where suggestions for improvements are embraced and acted upon, but it may still be a bit early for change unless you are approached for opinions or unless it is an important safety issue. Start conversations to test the waters and get to know your workmates and management.
Continue to be in active conversation with your manager to ensure you stay on the right track and operate within his or her expectations. Be a little more proactive in seeking ways to improve yourself, or to contribute to the success of the company by showing your particular strengths and being completely honest about your weaknesses. Showing accountability for mistakes and areas for improvement is a highly valued soft skill. If you do not know how to do something, learn it, ask questions, expand your knowledge, even in your own time as it is very rewarding to seek mastery of your craft.
- The last stage of adaptation is to make the role your own. Stay in touch with your boss to keep within the expected parameters; respectfully let them know you want to contribute within their expectations but that you have more to offer if required. Bring your special skills to the position, use your strengths and ingenuity, streamline processes, continuously improve and stay sharp. Take initiative in seeking ways to assist others if they look like they could use some help if it is within your boss’s expectations and will not negatively affect your timeline.
A new job and being complacent about your contribution will not bring triumph, only stagnation.