7 Things Every Newly Hired Employee Must Do

Posted on August 28, 2012


In anticipation of my daughter’s first day on a new job I wanted to give her something memorable. So instead of going to the local Hallmark, I logged onto Amazon.com and purchased a used copy of Michael Watkins’s The First 90 Days—a book about Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at all Levels.

Inside the front cover I wrote a few words of my own expressing the pride any father would have in his daughter who landed a great first job out of college. I read the book, highlighting statements I thought would be applicable to her in her new role. Inside the front cover I inscribed a personal note of congratulations, admiration…and, of course, a little advice.

The book got me thinking about what I would want in a new employee coming to work for me. In my role in Operations and HR for our firm I am highly involved in the hiring process. This week I am interviewing for a marketing position in our firm. Therefore, I asked myself a couple of questions: What would I want our new employee to do during her first days on the job? Or, how could he within a few short weeks make me believe we had made a superb hire? I contemplated these questions and developed a list of 7 things every newly hired employee must do.

 As a New Employee You Must:

  1. Arrive. Arrive on time, ready to engage. Not just the first day, the first week or weeks—but every day from the first day forward.
  2. Learn. Learn. Learn. Learn about our history, present and future.  Get to know our industry. Learn our jargon. Learn about our competitors. Know what is on our webpage. Observe and become an expert on who we are and what makes us unique.
  3. Ask. Ask your manager what you can do to make the most meaningful impact during your first days on the job. Weed out the vagueness and be confident in knowing what is expected of you. Never rest in finding clarity on how you contribute to the overall success of the team.
  4. Be Proactive. Be ferocious in taking initiative and finding solutions. Be aware of needs and search for answers. Seek out ways to help teammates.
  5. Grow. Don’t expect the tools and practices that gave you success in the past to give you success in your new role. Take on new challenges and find new tools and solutions. Discover new strengths and talents. We didn’t hire you for what you have done, but for what you can do now and in the future.
  6. Build relationships. Get to know your co-workers and take interest in those with whom you now work. Exhibit a genuine caring spirit for your team.
  7. Secure early wins. Find a way to make a meaningful impact as soon as possible. Give your team reason to believe you have much to contribute.

If you have recently accepted a new role, Congratulations!  A little turbulence always accompanies landing a new role. However, if you bring these seven actions with you each and every day to your new job you have significantly increased your chances of great success.