People don’t know much about you when you join a company. There’s no precedent – you’re a stranger. It doesn’t matter what reputation you had before, you can shape your own, new identity now. The first 90 days are going to set you up for the rest of your career in that company. Here’s how to ensure that you start off on the right foot and leave a lasting impression…
Eat lunch with everyone
‘Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.’ Keith Ferrazzi.
Obviously, if the company is big you can’t meet everyone. But you can try and meet someone from each team. Establish yourself as someone curious, proactive and hungry. You don’t want to be that loner with your head down that doesn’t talk to other people. It’s harder to reach out to people after the first 90 days – use the momentum you have from the get-go.
Reach out to them, send them a calendar invite. Tell them you’re new and you want to learn about what they’re doing. Prepare lots of questions. You’ll get everyone’s story and all the gossip and useful tips and warnings. You’ll be surprised what people tell you. Never eat lunch alone.
‘Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.’ Henry Miller.
While you may be a very hard worker, you are not a work slave. You’re a human being with a desire for autonomy, creativity and variety. Sure, you want to give yourself a push every day and every week, especially at the start, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing mental and physical or spiritual health.
The habits that you establish from the start will be easier to maintain. Plan something every weekend. Go hiking. Join some acroyoga class. Train for a marathon. Do something challenging. The way to be interesting is to have interests!
This isn’t just for you, though. When people ask you how your weekend was, you’ll be able to respond with something. People are attracted to people who do interesting things. You’ll make more friends and earn respect. Plus, you’ll be happier.
Help someone every day
‘It’s interesting. People go to an animal shelter and pick a dog that’s been kicked, beaten and has lost a leg and an eye, and they’ll take that dog home and give it love and support, but they don’t do that with people.’ Nikki Sixx.
Imagine if you helped one colleague every day for 5-10 minutes. After 90 days that would add up. When I started in my job (sales) I took 10 minutes every day to find a sales lead for someone else. I knew what other people were working on and struggling with because I had taken them to lunch and asked them. My information or leads didn’t always help, but they were always grateful, and as I got better at the job, I got better at figuring out how I could help.
Small acts are fine. Send an interesting industry-related article. Establish yourself as someone who shares information. Someone who takes time to help others. Start the karmic cycle early and you’ll reap the rewards gradually over time when you least expect it and when you need it most.
About the author: Misha Yurchenko is a Japan-based recruiter, writer and entrepreneur. He has consulted startups, Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Facebook on hiring strategy, and his work has been featured by Forbes, Inc., and Newsweek. He also writes on a range of topics from the job market, technology, cryptocurrencies and Japanese culture. You can follow Misha on Facebook or subscribe to his newsletter here.