Six Actions to Take When Starting Your New Job

You got the job…now what?

Getting hired was just the first step.  Now you are walking into your new position and need to hit the ground running.  You want to learn as much as possible, as fast as possible…how do you do that?  Here are six actions you can take to excel quickly in your new role.

Keep a daily journal.


At the end of each day take 20-30 minutes to write down what you learned about the business, the processes, the job expectations, the people you met and the interactions you will need with them to do your job. At the end of each week summarize the information you documented during the week. You may find that your knowledge has changed from what you first perceived.  Do this process for the first month of your employment. During the second and third months keep a weekly journal and incorporate notes you took during the workday as new items came up. The act of writing as you learn will help you process the information better, help you remember it and help you start formulating a more strategic perspective for your job. It also allows you to formulate questions based on what you learned. Keep a list of these questions and incorporate answers into your journal as time progresses.

Verify your knowledge.

Initiate discussions with coworkers, superiors and subordinates utilizing the knowledge you have been gaining from your journal to find out if your understanding of the business & process is correct. Share your understanding and ask the questions you posed to yourself in your journal entries. These discussions will help you gain confidence, as well as show others that you are actively learning. You will find that this process will set you apart as becoming more knowledgeable and resourceful than others that have been there for years.

Set goals for yourself.

Once you feel comfortable with the accuracy of what you have learned, as well as an understanding of the goals inherent to your new job, at the beginning of the second month set some personal goals to achieve over months two and three. These goals should be results oriented; write them down with action plans.

Communicate goals with your superior and/or employees.

Sit down with your boss and/or your employees to communicate the goals that you want to achieve over the next couple of months. Get their feedback and buy-in making modifications if necessary. By this time you may already have some goals given to you by your boss, incorporate those into your objectives as well. All of your personal goals for you and your team should be based on things you need to achieve a better understanding of your job and of the business. It could be training, meeting with key customers, generating reports on key metrics, becoming proficient in specific processes, etc…The end goal being that by the end of three months you are proficient in your job as it was when you walked into it and you are ready to start discussing the strategy going forward; you will be ready and able to improve on it.

Get to know your co-workers and collaborators from other departments.

Make time over the first three months to know the people you will be working with in the company. Ask each one to have lunch with you or set up individual meetings with them. Ask them about the business, their experience working with your position previously, things they would like to improve on and things that are already working well. Establishing relationships on a more personal level from the beginning will help you resolve issues faster when the need arises.

Track your results.

You have set up goals and action plans. Track your results not only for yourself but to use as a communication tool with your boss and/or your employees. Once you hit the three or four month mark you should be at a point where you have achieved your goals and are ready to create new ones. You should be fully acclimated to the job and the company should be fully acclimated to you.

Remember, the more information you obtain, process and utilize, the faster you will be able to excel in your new job.  Always keep an open mind and continue to assess your surroundings.  Share what you learn and use it as a communication tool to develop the relationships that interact with you in your new role.

I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!


Written by Lisa Woods, President Lisa Woods Consulting & Founder of

Lisa is a dynamic business leader & author located in Western New York with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth in the corporate world. Today she partners with business leaders to understand their vision, identify internal and external roadblocks, define a practical strategic path forward and guide a successful transformation. This work includes strategy definition & goal setting, organizational design, facilitating team buy-in, establishing visual metrics, internal and external research studies, business feasibility assessments, and investor insight into organizational strength, weakness & strategic opportunity. She helps business leaders drive growth & increase profits.

Strategic Consulting ǀ Management Consulting: Strategy Realized

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