Got a New Job? Take Control of Your Onboarding

By Harvard Business Review
September 5, 2018

Ask these questions and prepare yourself to cultivate important connections, understand your role, and identify and deliver on early wins.

If you want to excel in a new job, you can’t rely on your company’s onboarding process to prepare you. You need to take control of your integration.

Spending time early on to figure out who the key influencers are in relation to your role, and getting to know them face-to-face, can pay big dividends down the road.

RELATED: Didn't Get the Job? Here's How to Win When You Lose

As you identify these people, here are some questions to ask them:

  1. What are your most critical business issues over the next one to two years?
  2. How can our departments partner to achieve that plan?
  3. What has previously worked well between our departments that we should continue?
  4. What should we do differently to be more effective?
  5. How can we communicate to ensure optimal collaboration?
  6. What politics should I understand as my unit tries to accomplish these goals?
  7. Who else do you think I should talk with? Can you connect me to them?

RELATED: No Stigma in Changing Jobs, But Ask the Right Questions First

Also, during your first month in a company, take time to ask your boss these questions:

  1. How do you prefer to give and receive feedback and be kept informed?
  2. What are your most important goals for the year, and how do they fit into the company’s strategic objectives?
  3. What are the two to three most critical accomplishments I need to achieve within a year, and how will they be measured?
  4. What should I accomplish in the next six months?
  5. In what specific ways can I help you succeed?

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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