You’ve jumped through hoops, worked hard and finally hear the question you have been waiting for—When can you start?
You might be thinking, “how about yesterday,” but my advice is “not so fast!”
Do yourself a favor and set yourself up for success by taking time off before you begin your new role. It will give you time for rest and renewal.
In this newsletter, I have some suggestions on how you can use a little bit of that time to begin to establish new lifetime habits for Bulletproofing Your Career… For LIFE. Then, I will share some tips for making sure you get off on the right foot in your new role.
PRO TIP: You only need to customize the middle paragraph. The opening paragraph should announce your landing and the closing paragraph should remind them that you want to stay in touch and encourage them to reach out to you if you can be of any help.
The middle paragraph is where you thank them for something specific. For example, “thank you for the introduction to…” or “I can’t tell you how helpful it was to know that I could bounce ideas off of you and get some course correction.”
Your message doesn’t have to be lengthy, it just needs to be sincere.
Don’t get overwhelmed by this activity. Chunk it down to a few messages per day. And, if you don’t get them all done before you start, schedule a few per week until you complete the emails. This is the foundation of a lifetime of cultivating a network that works!
Once you send out the emails, your next step is to setup a regular cadence for keeping in touch with your network. This document will give you some helpful guidelines for this activity.
Now it is also the time to think about finding time for the new Bulletproof Your Career habits you need to establish so that you never have to experience the stress and disruption of another career gap.
Take Time to Block Your Calendar
Just look at your calendar and find 15 to 20 minutes per week of personal time to do the following tasks:
- Continue to add recruiters to your network. Adding just one per week will give you 52 new recruiters in one year.
- Set up at least 1 networking outreach.
- Post at least 1 brand-relevant article weekly on LinkedIn.
Remember, what gets schedule gets done. And the secret to success here is creating the habit of paying attention to your career destiny.
Next, let’s turn our attention to the First 90-Days of Bulletproofing Your Career after you land.
- Update your LinkedIn experience section with your new role as soon as you start. You will be meeting with colleagues who will be checking out your profile. Make sure they see that you are part of the team.
- Establish a communication cadence with your manager and with your direct reports. This is the number one way to ensure alignment.
- Identify “what really matters” to others. I know, you may be thinking, “that’s easy, what matters to my manager is that I deliver on my KPIs. That is true, but I want you to think about what matters to your manager, team members, peers and stakeholders on a more personal level. If you pay close attention, you may find that your manager has a pet project or that he/she operates best when there are “no surprises.” The more you understand what really matters the more you can tailor all your communication in a way that ensures that it is most effective.
- Don’t get trapped in a cocoon of connections. Begin to broaden your horizons by identifying “who do I need to know and who needs to know me” inside the company and start to establish a relationship with those on that list.
- Connect on LinkedIn with your new colleagues. Several of my clients in my From Onboard to Bulletproof program have had colleagues leave within the first few weeks of assuming their new role. If you have followed my “how to build a target list training” you know that the companies that your now former colleagues joined should be on your future target list. Why? Because you now have a contact within that company, and the company they went to has shown that they like candidates who came from your company.
- Be intentional about your personal brand. Think about what do you want to be known for in your new company and amplify that brand identify.
- Identify your allies. You allies may be in meetings that don’t include you, but they can be your proxy in those meetings. Here is how that might look: “I think that we should ask John for his thoughts on this project. I have spent some time with him since he started last month, and I think he can provide some valuable input.” Boom—you are not physically in the room, but your ally has been your voice.
- Reserve judgement and form your own opinion of others. Many times, when you start a new role, colleagues will want to take you aside and “warn” you about someone. They may be right, but remember, they are seeing that person through their eyes and based on their interaction with that person. You may have a completely different experience with that person.
- Accept that you are once again knee deep in a learning curve. If you missed this blog post, I recommend you take a few minutes to read it for insights about the importance of giving yourself some grace in those early days.
- Begin to execute on the weekly bulletproofing activities you built into your schedule as described above.
It is important that you have clarity about your role, your priorities and deliverables, which is why I want you to schedule your weekly meetings with your manager as soon as you start. Once you have clarity and have built trust with your manager, team and peers, you will be able to focus on your personal future with less distraction.
Otherwise, you will end up back in the cycle of landing, putting your head down and ignoring your Bulletproofing activities, and then ending up back in the painful position of conducting a full-time job search. These books will help you create the habits and the space you need to prioritize taking charge of your career destiny.
Oh, and one last reminder…
DO YOU WANT ONE-TO-ONE SUPPORT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND A PROVEN FRAMEWORK FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
You made a strong commitment to keep your future career fate in your hands.
You’re not going to let another involuntary career gap happen again.
But… have you done anything about it? If not, we should talk.
Because once you land, that’s when the real work begins. The real work to Bulletproof Your Career… For LIFE.
Together, we will help you put yourself in control and ensure you never again find yourself in a career gap.