When you start a new job, you will likely go through an onboarding process. During this process, a company representative gives you a comprehensive overview of the company culture and your new role. Of course, the overall goal is for you to jump in and become productive as soon as possible.
However, have you ever thought that setting small goals in the onboarding process can help you reach that overall goal more effectively?
Here’s the reason: if you spend some time thinking about what you want to capture from the integration process and set goals in that regard, you are more likely to retain more information. Furthermore, you will get answers to all the questions that you would otherwise have to ask later.
While you can always set your own goals, we’ve shared a few to help you know how to get started. Also, we added some tips on how to achieve them.
Make a good first impression.
Sure, everyone wants to make a good impression in their new job, but doing so may take a bit of effort. Dress according to the company’s dress code so that your outfit is not too formal or casual. When you are introduced to people, smile, make eye contact, and be kind. Listen carefully when others are speaking and respond appropriately. Ask questions when necessary, but don’t try to dominate the conversation. Remember: when you’re new on the block, it’s best to observe before trying to stand out.
Become part of the company culture.
As your integration progresses, you will learn specific things about the company. For example, the systems and processes, which are important for you to know. Try to memorize these as quickly as possible. If necessary, take notes so you can review them later. Also, try to join the established activities. For example, if your team has organized a virtual book club, join them.
Learn who’s who in the company and on your team.
You need to know the hierarchical order, in addition to learning the names and roles of all the members of your team. Remembering someone’s name without having to ask can help you earn points among your new colleagues.
Know your job responsibilities.
Find out exactly what is expected from you on a day-to-day basis, and ask if there are recurring weekly, monthly, or quarterly tasks you have to complete.
Find a mentor.
Although not all companies encourage mentoring, it can be extremely helpful. A mentor is able to help you realize your strengths and weaknesses and prepare you for future growth opportunities. Ask your supervisor about the possibility of having a mentor to help you onboard.
Think about your long-term career goals.
During the integration process, you will begin to understand what opportunities there are in your company in terms of professional growth. This is why this is the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in this job. For example, if it’s a sales job, you might want to start by setting ambitious sales goals and then move on to become the team leader. Keep in mind, however, that you need to make sure these goals are aligned with your company’s goals, as advised in the Ivy Exec article “Goal Setting at Work: 3 Things to Discuss with Your Boss First.” Once your career is going well, you can discuss your career goals with your manager.
When you proactively set goals to get the most out of your first few days on the job, not only do you give yourself a better chance of making a good impression, but you’re also more likely to jump on the line quickly and get to work based on being productive. And in the long run, that helps for your team, your company, and of course, your professional (and personal) growth.