After Getting the Job, Get Off to a Good Start

April 29, 2014

I’m following Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and the founder of the Taproot Foundation and author of just released book, The Purpose Economy, and like what he has to say about after getting the job. I wanted to share his thoughts on 10 Tips for Starting a Job the Right Way.

How you start a job has a significant impact on your tenure and success at an organization. Too many people, in my experience, let their employer create the plan for their first month on the job. This is a mistake.

Take control of your success and path from day one and avoid seeing it as something others define for you. Your manager might have a plan, but you can have one too.

Starting on your first day, you can begin to do what workplace researchers Justin Berg, Jane Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski call job crafting. It is the process of taking control of your own destiny and shaping your job to meet your needs and not just your employer’s.

Inspired by their research and my own personal experience, here are ten ideas for how to begin crafting your job from day one.

1.Track names. You will likely meet a lot of new people in the next month. As you meet each one, write down their name and a few things that stood out to you about them. This will help you build relationships quickly.

2.Get Advice. Ask someone for advice and then follow up on it immediately. Show them you are someone worth investing in as you will act on advice and are eager to learn.

3.Know the WHY. As you are trained, be sure to learn not just the HOW but also the WHY. With each task or project, take the time to understand its impact on the organization, the team and your customers/clients. Don’t start something until you are clear on the WHY.

4.Get Coffee. Set up coffee with one person per day for your first month. Be sure to pay and to spend the time understanding what they love about their job and the organization.

5.Create Visual Reminder. Develop your purpose statement or another visual cue and post it up your workspace to remind you of what matters for you in your work. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free at

6.Find Energy Sources. Make a list of the people in the organization that give you energy when you meet with them and seek out opportunities to work with them.

7.Celebrate Others. Find a way to publicly celebrate the work of someone else on the team. It doesn’t have to be fireworks. It can just be a comment in a meeting or an email to the team.

8.End the Day on Right Note. At the end of each day, share with someone outside of work what you enjoyed from the day (e.g. spouse, roommate, etc.). What inspired you? What challenged you? What made you smile?

9.Give. Find someone you might mentor and take them to lunch. Learn about their dreams and aspirations.

10.Fight Autopilot. Perhaps most importantly, take a walk (ideally outside) at least once everyday to clear your head and make sure you don’t go on autopilot.

Not starting a new job? It is never too late to begin crafting your job to gain the meaning and engagement you need. As the cliche goes, today is the first day of the rest of your career.

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