Questions to Ask When Starting a New Job

By Harvard Business Review
June 26, 2019

Build positive momentum early on and it will propel you through your tenure. Keep answering these questions on a regular basis to help avoid missteps.young doctor male stethoscope around neckThe actions you take during your first few months in a new job have a major impact on your success or failure. It helps to have a set of questions to guide you.

Here are the five most important ones to ask:

HOW WILL I CREATE VALUE? Why were you put in this role? What do key stakeholders expect you to accomplish? In what time frame? How will your progress be assessed?

HOW AM I EXPECTED TO BEHAVE? Unless you have been hired to change the culture of your new organization, you should strive to understand and conform to its most important norms of behavior. Becoming viewed as “not belonging here” can lead to isolation and, ultimately, derailment.

WHOSE SUPPORT IS CRITICAL? Build alliances. Who has power and influence? Whose support is crucial and why? Determine what others are trying to accomplish and how you can help them. Reciprocity is the firmest foundation on which to build allies.

HOW WILL I GET SOME EARLY WINS? Leaders in transition energize people by making quick, tangible improvements in the organization that create a sense of momentum. Identify the best ways to make a positive impact and then do so as efficiently as possible.

WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED TO EXCEL IN THIS ROLE? To become fully effective in your new role, you will probably have to do some personal development. The sooner you understand what new capabilities you need to develop, the better.

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

Topics: Career Planning

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