Do These 3 Things Before You Start a New Job to Set Yourself Up for Success

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Eva Steortz864
Disney Executive Turned Executive Coach
May 21, 2024 at 8:47PM UTC

You got the job. Congratulations! Don’t worry. It's normal to feel both excited and freaked out. To stay calm and ensure you hit the ground running, it’s wise to do some proactive planning before your first day.

You should practice lots of self-care, get your life organized, and have some fun time with family and friends. However, you will benefit significantly from some prep work before your first day. 

Using a simple who, what, and how framework, here are some critical points to touch on to ensure your success: 

WHO: Schedule Meet and Greets 

If you are lucky, your new manager makes recommendations about who to meet and has this process underway, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive and ask. 

Making an immediate connection with key players is critical. You will want to find your allies right away. Focus on all levels from assistants up to senior management. You will need people to help you navigate. When you meet people, always ask, “Who else should I meet?”

As importantly, do some deep thinking about who you want to be. This is a new beginning. You are embarking on an opportunity to create new habits and refine your style. How do you want people to see you: collaborative, enthusiastic, positive? Gain clarity and get excited about creating a new and improved you.

WHAT: Get Clear on Your Role

Sometimes a job description is just not enough information to get your arms around how you can add value to your company. Be sure you know what was working and not working with the person who had your role prior. Check in with your manager, and ask direct questions about how you could add the most value and impact.

If you want to get precise, start coming up with the top 3 things you could do in your first 30 days based on all of your discoveries about the company and your role so far. Get ready to get those early wins.

Also, give lots of thought to what you would like to take away from this new career opportunity. What do you want to learn? What could you do to make this the best experience ever?

HOW: Develop a Plan 

Hopefully, your new company has a solid onboarding plan, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive here too.

Asking for some prep docs demonstrates your enthusiasm. These will also help you get ready to ask a lot of questions when you meet your coworkers. 

Get curious and be direct. Don’t forget important fundamental questions like, “How do things get done around here?", "Who are the real decision-makers?”, and “What type of work is always rewarded?”. 

You likely read a lot about the company for your interview process but it’s important to go back and review the annual report, official website, social media accounts, and any recent press. If there is a product or service, check it out and see how consumers are responding.

In addition, have a plan for how you can organize your day to be the most productive. Do you have a home office space organized and stocked with what you need? If you are going to an office, how much time do you need to allow for the commute? How will you fit in errands and exercise? How will you maintain a good work/life balance? 

In Summary

Before you start a new job: rest, have fun, and indulge in self-care. To ensure success, make ample time for some deep thinking and preparation work to ensure you maximize your new career opportunity. 

Think through who, what, and how scenarios to get yourself grounded and create a plan. You will be glad you did! 

Have fun creating the career and happy, balanced life you want to live.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Eva Steortz is a former 20-year Disney executive and ICF-certified executive coach. She works with ambitious professionals who want to maximize their career potential while enjoying a happy balanced life. 

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for those starting a new job? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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