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Episode 1: How to Start a New Job Off Strong

This was my first Sam’s Career Talk video. I posted it five years ago, when my brown-to-gray hair ratio was still under control. Sigh...

Anyway, the video is about how to start a new job off strong. It’s more applicable today than ever, especially this time of year.

New grads, take heed: Here's how to start a new job off strong.

  1. Set up 30-minute meetings with all the people you will be working with. Play the "new" card and no one will think it's weird. Pack your calendar. Do this before you need something from these people. That way, when you do need something (and you will), you will already have a relationship with them.

  2. Listen and then speak: Solutions to problems look easy from the outside, but they are usually more complicated than they seem. New employees who come in hot with all the answers are often considered arrogant. Sure, you should start contributing immediately, but you also have to build trust and rapport with your coworkers as you do it. Listening is a great way to do this.

  3. Create a game plan and show it to your manager: After a couple of weeks on the job, create a game plan for how you plan to tackle your role over the next 30/60/90 days, and present it to your manager. This will demonstrate that you are proactive, but it will also help you to understand what things your boss cares about.

  4. Nail your first two or three assignments: People form opinions quickly in an organization, especially about more junior employees. I’m not saying this is right, I’m just saying that it’s true. So, build positive momentum by taking extra care to do well in the beginning.


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