On September 16th I had the pleasure to be interviewed on ACC News on BlogTalkRadio. In the interview I spoke about my own journey about how I finally realized my own career dreams.
I speak about the challenges that people face today is find their own career happiness and I have created programs to help change their lives.
It is a quick 30 minute show, listen below!
You did it. You got the job.
Your start date is just around the corner and it is time to relax, right?
Yes and No. I do want you to relax and celebrate your victory but but I also want you to come up with a strategy for your first 90 days in your new role.
These next 90 days are critical. Critical for your success in this new job and critical for your career success. It is your first impression and it sets the tone for the rest of your duration there.
When building your 90 day transition plan there are 6 things that I want you to review, think about and strategize.
1. Take Initiative
This is easy, simply ask for any materials for review prior to start. This shows your future manager that you are one to step up, that you love to be prepared and that you are focused on setting yourself up for success. A great message to send.
Once you start, be open to learning new things. Take the initiative to get to know the whole business and how your role/team/department supports it on its own path to success.
2. Build Relationships
Get to know people. Your team, your department, key people throughout the organization. A crucial part of success is to always surround yourself with a support system. We know this when we are going after a goal but we forget about it when starting a new job.
This is especially scary for introverts or people who are shy. So find a way around it. One thing I always did was to bring pictures and set them up on my desk. There was one of my husband and me from our backpacking days of us on an elephant. I would set that up so that anyone walking by or pausing at my office door or cubicle would see it and they would stop to ask about it. It was a great way for me to build relationships while dealing with the fear of meeting new people.
These relationships are key for your success, they will be the people you go to when you need to vent, ask questions, a shoulder to lean on and keep you accountable.
3. Ask Questions
As you are building relationships you are asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. Gather as much information you can about what people do, what they like about their roles, what they find challenging, how they all work together and support each other. Just keep on asking questions!
Whenever a client and I are discussing their 90 day transition plan and I bring up asking questions when you need help, I get a “well, of course” look. The thing is that yes it is easy to ask questions when you don’t know the answer. At first. But usually 2-4 weeks into our new roles the act of asking for help becomes harder. We feel like we should know it already, or that we are a burden. So then we stumble and struggle our way through it. We go down the path of setting ourselves up for failure instead of the one that sets us up for success.
That is why building relationships is key as it helps deal with this very issue. If we have created a relationship with someone who we know wants us to succeed we feel less like a burden.
I hate to ask for help, I always want to figure it out on my own. I have learned the hard way why this is such a problem. So when starting new jobs I had a system. I would first do everything in my power to find the answer myself. Then I would go to my most trusted peer. And then if they couldn’t help me I would go to my boss. And I made sure to communicate my attempts at solving the problem first.
Prepare yourself to ask questions the WHOLE time you are in the job!
4. Live and Breathe the Culture
Every company is different. It has its own culture and its own personality. So while you are asking all those questions and building those relationships and getting to know the business inside and out, get to know the culture too. What is important to management? What is their definition of hard work, success and collaboration? What is their communication style (emails, memos, meetings)?
Think about how you can integrate this information into how you work such as how you prioritize how to get work done, how you display your own hard work and talk about your successes and how you write emails.
5. Begin with the end in mind
This is a habit of highly successful people. And I always talk about incorporating it into your 90 day transition plan.
For example, say you are moving jobs because you want a better work/life balance and you want to avoid 10-12 hour days. I know when we are first starting out in a new role and we are doing all of the above plus learning how to do the job that it is easy to get in the habit of long work days. But then that habit is really hard to break. On top of that, you are setting expectations. Everyone will get used to you working those long hours so if you do try and break the habit it becomes noticeable and then you may get a bad reputation.
Now I’m not saying to phone it in. If you need that time to get properly on boarded then take it. BUT when it comes to after hours work – try your best to take it home and stay off of email. You are doing the work of learning the role and the company but you are doing it without people knowing you are doing it. That way once you are on boarded and start focusing on that work/life balance no one else will notice. And they’ll be so impressed by your learning capabilities too!
6. Anticipate Challenges
I love anticipating challenges. Figuring out what can derail me or upset me. I love it because I hate surprises and I get anxious not knowing how I will handle certain situations. By anticipating challenges and then coming up with solutions I am more equipped to overcome them with ease. Because let’s face it, challenges are inevitable. It isn’t a matter of if but a matter of when. And to set yourself up for success you will think about what those challenges can look like and then you will picture yourself overcoming them and come up with a plan of action from there!
The first 90 days are some of the most important days that you will have in a new role. It creates your foundation of success. So use these 6 tips to build your own transition plan.
I shared some challenges that I have faced in the past above, I’m curious what are some of the ones you have faced?
For 15 years I had the same News Years Resolution. To find my way to career happiness.
And for 15 years, I never found my way. I failed at my resolution.
There was always a reason, an excuse, a justification that I would tell myself that would make it okay to let those dreams slip away.
Looking back now, I know what the problem really was.
I had no clue what that my dream career looked like. All I knew was that it wasn’t recruitment. It was overwhelming to make such a broad and generalized resolution so it was easy to give up quickly.
That is the problem with resolutions, they are generally broad life changing statements that seem very easy and attainable at the time. But give us a month and 80% of us have quit. Usually because we are nowhere near that “perfect life” we had envisioned for ourselves and we are struggling because it all seems like TOO MUCH to get there.
So we give up. And we hop back on the hamster wheel until the next year when we make those broad generalized resolutions again.
For me, I had tried everything. I chose a word for my year, I set SMART goals, I created project plans. But nothing seemed to work.
Then one year something clicked. I made a resolution to start making bread for our family. That was it. It was simple, clear and specific. More importantly, it was ONE thing and one thing ONLY. And I was successful.
So when the next year rolled around I wanted to recreate that magic for my career change goal. I focused on figuring out what was the ONE thing I could focus on. I dusted off my Job Search Roadmap to give me some guidance and it hit me. I couldn’t find a new career when I didn’t even know what that new career looked like. So my resolution?
To figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
That was it. My goal was to spend a year figuring out what career happiness looked like for me and to see if there was a job that existed that would lead me there.
So that is what I did. I went through 5 steps that led me to where I am today. Living my purpose, waking up excited each and every day and happy with my career.
I want that for you too.
The 5 steps are easy, they took me on a path that anyone can take. They opened up my world to me, got me out of my head and got me moving forward.
1. The Power of Assessments
I redid many of my favourite assessments plus some new ones. I wanted to live my purpose and I had a sense of what that purpose was but wasn’t completely clear about it. The assessments helped give me clarity. Plus, I wanted to know more about how to live my purpose in a way that left me feeling satisfied, played up my strengths and kept me motivated to survive any career change lows.
I spent some time looking in the looking glass by doing a number of self-discovery exercises. These helped me determine what was important to me in terms of what I wanted and what I didn’t want in my new career.
3. Create a Focus
I had gathered a lot of information and now I needed to do something with it – create a targeted list of careers for me to go after. I researched. I talked to people. A LOT of people, conducting informational interviews so that I had the information I needed to make an informed decision.
4. Goal Setting
Once I had an idea of the career I wanted, I then felt comfortable getting started. I set myself up for success by setting goals in a way I knew that would work for me. Namely, flexible and gentle mini goals that focused on what I wanted. Not elaborate project plans or SMART goals that left me exhausted before I even started!
5. My Roadmap
I followed my Job Search Roadmap and prepared myself for the obstacles that I knew were to come. And come they did! Obstacles like fear, money, motivation and support. But I didn’t let them get in my way, because I had a plan to overcome them.
A funny thing happened by creating one small but tangible goal. I ended up finding career happiness that year. That elusive resolution finally became my reality.
I know my success was because I set a simple, clear and specific goal. I went through these 5 steps and by September of that year my career coaching business was born.
My 2019 Resolution.
This year I have another simple, clear and specific goal. To help YOU discover what you want to do when you grow up so that you too can find your way to career happiness.
This is a free challenge for people who know that they want a change but who don’t have complete clarity on what that change looks like.
It is for people who want a completely different career or a simple career pivot. It is for people who want to check to see if they are in the right career. And it is for people who are in the right career but who want to change something about it – like if they should be going after that promotion, change industries or fight for more work/life balance.
The challenge is 5 days long and will cover each of the 5 steps above with a daily training video sent to your email, worksheets to guide you and a Facebook group to surround you with others on the same path.
2019 is YOUR year. Your year to make your New Year’s Resolutions happen. Your year to Find Your Way to Career Happiness.
I can’t wait to get started! Click here to get your free spot!
Sara Curto helps people find a career they love by teaching them a new way to job search.
The Secrets to finding a job you love
Click HERE to watch