30 Things in the First 30 days

Random Observation/Comment #548: Relish the fresh start and nail the first impression.


Why this list?

I haven’t “started over” at a new company for 6 years. Sure, I meet people all the time through networking and can hold my own conversations, but working somewhere is like being adopted into a new family. Other families may have liked you for “being a good influence,” but only parents know the extent of crazy and trouble.

How to write this list:

Think of what you do different on your first date when you’re on your “best behavior.” Think of who you think they hired and describe that person’s attributes. Think from your manager’s perspective, and pay attention to what they’d use to determine your value. How do you add value?

  1. “Hit the ground running” – bring value as soon as possible
  2. Bring your strengths, expertise, and perspective from your previous experiences
  3. Find and befriend a mentor
  4. Open up to a certain extent with small talk that reveals more about your values and paints a personality around your fun activities
  5. Build trust with deliverables and action
  6. Grab coffee with the team and be friendly (get to know them and all their names/backstories with interest)
  7. Come up with a list of questions and figure out who or how you can find the answer (Hint: Ask your mentor)
  8. Create your comfort zone and work environment
  9. Baseline your expectations
  10. Go on a team outing as early as possible (take the initiative to start this if needed with a coffee-chat or away-from-desk lunch)
  11. Set up catch-up time with your manager on a bi-weekly basis to have an honest conversation about your progress
  12. Align your short term goals with your group
  13. Learn about the group’s middle and long term strategies
  14. Understand the general Org structure of the company
  15. Keep your content organized and share this organization with your group
  16. Suggest minor individual productivity improvements with your colleague
  17. Spread good rumors and opinions about the team
  18. Listen to the team
  19. Understand the business drivers and driving forces of your organization
  20. Bring up skepticism strategically and after additional research
  21. Ask about the underlying technology and architecture
  22. Ask about the history and evolution of the company
  23. Ask for documentation and read everything
  24. Put in the hard work and extra hours
  25. Lead by example
  26. Build a brand around your uniqueness that people won’t forget and can come to ask you for advice
  27. Help where you can (work across multiple teams)
  28. Document and reflect on your progress
  29. Write a comprehensive weekly update for your team to highlight successes, next steps, and blockers (this helps your manager’s job and points out overlapping work quickly)
  30. Send out a badass introduction about yourself

Here’s mine omitting the professional boring piece:

On the personal side, Clemens is an avid blogger (seelemonslive.com), frequent traveler (39 countries and counting), restaurant reviewer (yelp elite, google local guide), published author (lifeinlistsof30.com), TEDx organizer, wedding photographer, table tennis fanatic (Spin NY and competitions), and list maker. He’s been known as a productive optimist and technology philosopher who gives great high fives.

~See Lemons Already Running