How To Stand Out In Your First 3 Months At The New Job

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How To Stand Out In Your First 3 Months At The New Job

 

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The first three months of your employment is often called the probationary period because it’s when employers closely evaluate your performance and suitability for the role.

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During this time, making a positive impression and proving that you’re the right fit for the job is crucial. With over-hiring being used by companies as a pretext for layoffs, you want to stand out as a star employee that they can’t let go of. This is where your first 90 days will play a huge role in whether you’ll be seen as a valuable contributor or if you’ll be job hunting again within the year.

 

Here are five things you can do to ensure you stand out as a star employee during your first three months.

 

Dig Into Your New Role

There’s the job description on paper, and there’s the job as it plays out in reality. If you’ve been working for long enough, you’ll know that job roles are often flexible and can change daily, especially in dynamic environments like startups.

 

 

Even with how complicated and comprehensive hiring processes have become, many new hires still find that their new role can differ significantly from what they expected as applicants.

 

To make sure there are no surprises, make it a point to ask your manager about the specifics of your role. You’ll usually get this opportunity on your first day when you’re still onboarding.

 

Don’t forget to ask about daily tasks, reporting structures, key performance indicators, and other details that will help you fulfill your duties effectively. Make sure you’re also taking detailed notes so that you have everything you need to succeed in your new role.

 

Meet As Many People As You Can

If you’ve been reading my past articles, you’ll know that I place a premium on networking as a skill, and for good reason. Even after being hired, you still want to network as much as possible to build healthy working relationships and see which opportunities you can create.

READ ALSO 5 Skills To Make You Irreplaceable In The Workplace

Make it a rule to meet as many people as you can. You can start with your immediate team members and direct supervisor, but find ways to engage higher management as well within reason.

 

It’s a good idea to attend as many team-building activities and mixers as possible, not just to get your name around but also to learn from others, share insights, and figure out how you can better contribute to your new organization.

 

Make sure to keep your ears on the ground for any kind of information. While the goal is to stand out as a star employee in your new workplace, there’s no reason not to walk away if you find the company environment and workplace too toxic and won’t work for you.

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Focus On Your Role First

As a newcomer, you might be tempted to get on everyone’s good side by extending a helping hand whenever possible. There’s a time and place for this, but not your first three months.

 

You want to focus on adjusting to your new role and understanding the nuances of your workplace first instead of overextending yourself by trying to be everybody’s handyman. You’ll probably have your hands full during your first 90 days just trying to learn routines, leadership structures, and company culture, so dedicate your energy to that.

READ ALSO  Everyone said, “Work harder and you’ll succeed.” They were wrong. Here’s what actually works.

Once you feel confident in your role and have a more solid grasp of your responsibilities, you can then try to see where you can help outside your immediate duties. Of course, I don’t mean for you to not build relationships at all during your first three months. But at least during your probationary period, give yourself grace by focusing on your role first.

 

Keep Track Of Your Achievements

Many people make the mistake of working quietly and keeping their heads down during their probationary period. While I wouldn’t advise you to hog the spotlight every chance you can, this is the time to demonstrate your value to your new company.

 

It pays to be aware of your achievements and what you bring to the table, especially if your input directly contributed to the success of a project or task. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your direct manager is taking note of your achievements. The exceptional ones do, but most of the time, they’re also busy chasing their own metrics and deadlines.

 

What you can do to make it easier on you and your manager is to keep track of your own achievements and bring this up during your monthly or quarterly assessments. Make it a point to highlight times when you exceeded targets, resolved key issues, or implemented innovative solutions.

 

Don’t be afraid to go overboard and sound like a credit hog, especially if you’re being truthful and not embellishing any details. As far as you’re concerned, you are only demonstrating that they made the correct decision in hiring you.

READ ALSO How to Craft a Better Resume, According to a LinkedIn Career Expert

Bring A Positive Attitude To Work

There’s no two ways about it: people want to work with people they like. While it’s impossible to please everyone, there’s definitely an argument to be made about making yourself a joy to be around.

 

You can be the most technically proficient worker around and still not accomplish anything if people just don’t enjoy working with you. Now, I understand that working with people doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But people skills, like any other skill, can be worked on through practice.

 

My advice is this: start by showing genuine interest in others and be receptive to their perspectives. Even if you have a clear idea of how to approach a task, try to seek feedback and show appreciation for coworkers’ contributions.

 

Best case scenario, you might discover a new and better way to solve a problem. Even if you don’t, you will have fostered camaraderie and established yourself as a team player — a win-win situation in every sense.

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