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Avoid these 10 Mistakes in Your New Job!

Author : Dilip Saraf
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Clients often come to me to land a new job or to change their career path and to take on a new career after their re-invention, my specialty. Although most are engaged with me throughout their transition, some are not as much. They get complacent about how to get going in their new job to avoid any setbacks or get so focusedeven anxiousabout doing well in their new job that they forget what I had told them after their exciting announcement about their new job. So, I am writing this blog for anyone and everyone who has now a new job or are at their job (even internal transfer) in the recent past. Here are the mistakes you want to avoid to keep your new job as a springboard for your career growth and for a better future:

  1. Failing to reconcile to the new reality: During the interview process you would have talked to many people associated with your workgroup and your job and each one would have had a view about the job for which you are going to be on boarded. The most important input comes from your immediate chain of commandyou boss and your skip-level bossnot the job description for which you were interviewed. In many cases the ground reality can change and you may be assigned a different role. So, failing to reconcile to the new reality can create problems for both you and your boss. If you see a major difference in what was originally understood and agreed and what you are now asked to work on, have a discussion with your boss without prejudice or emotion and understand the new reality. Do not merely fret over the difference and act out your displeasure.
  2. During the first week or so, as you are introduced to new players, do not avoid finding out who the key players are and see how you can plug into their mindset. Let THEM talk more and learn to listen what they say and how they say it. Talk less.
  3. Do not boast about your past glory and victories, including your perfect GMAT or GPA scores. Let the curious find out about you by looking you up on LinkedIn and other sources. Also, do not trumpet your new assignment and boast about how it is going to make everything better when you are done with it. Never be a know-it-all; be a Learn-it-all, instead!
  4. Do not initiate ANY change right after you start without knowing how the system works.
  5. Do not just focus on you and your task at hand, but focus on building solid relationships and learning about the workings of your workgroup. Start building cordial relationships with those who would be working with you on everyday basis. Do not miss a chance to take some team members to lunch or to coffee. Also, do not forget to bring something to show your appreciation at the end of the first week (a box of candy, donuts, or some treats as appropriate).
  6. Do not offer opinions in the early stages of your onboarding, especially about other people, company systems, or procedures. Quietly observe what needs to change and compile a list of changes you plan to introduce to include in your 100-Day plan.
  7. Do not fail to touch base with your boss at least once a week and get clarity on your assignment. Do not assume but ask and seek clarity. If the boss is ambiguous send an email about what you heard and let them confirm in writing. This is especially important if you have a remote boss or if you telecommute.
  8. Do not fail to probe and see where the low hanging fruit is and make notes in your journal to add to the 100-Day plan. A good 100-Day plan is compiled in the first month, discussed with your boss, and is used as a roadmap to calibrate your first-year performance.
  9. Do not fail to use your fresh perspective to spot things that are obviously wrong and explore more about why they are wrong before passing your judgment on them for correction. Once again this should become part of the list of your 100-Day plan.
  10. Do not over promise and under deliver! Learn and practice how to do its exact opposite, instead.

The initial period at a new job can be anxiety provoking and everyone wants to make a good impression to be accepted by your workgroup and by your boss. Follow these simple guidelines on what to avoid and what to do and you will be positioned for success in your new job!

Good luck!

About Author
Dilip has distinguished himself as LinkedIn’s #1 career coach from among a global pool of over 1,000 peers ever since LinkedIn started ranking them professionally (LinkedIn selected 23 categories of professionals for this ranking and published this ranking from 2006 until 2012). Having worked with over 6,000 clients from all walks of professions and having worked with nearly the entire spectrum of age groups—from high-school graduates about to enter college to those in their 70s, not knowing what to do with their retirement—Dilip has developed a unique approach to bringing meaning to their professional and personal lives. Dilip’s professional success lies in his ability to codify what he has learned in his own varied life (he has changed careers four times and is currently in his fifth) and from those of his clients, and to apply the essence of that learning to each coaching situation.

After getting his B.Tech. (Honors) from IIT-Bombay and Master’s in electrical engineering(MSEE) from Stanford University, Dilip worked at various organizations, starting as an individual contributor and then progressing to head an engineering organization of a division of a high-tech company, with $2B in sales, in California’s Silicon Valley. His current interest in coaching resulted from his career experiences spanning nearly four decades, at four very diverse organizations–and industries, including a major conglomerate in India, and from what it takes to re-invent oneself time and again, especially after a lay-off and with constraints that are beyond your control.

During the 45-plus years since his graduation, Dilip has reinvented himself time and again to explore new career horizons. When he left the corporate world, as head of engineering of a technology company, he started his own technology consulting business, helping high-tech and biotech companies streamline their product development processes. Dilip’s third career was working as a marketing consultant helping Fortune-500 companies dramatically improve their sales, based on a novel concept. It is during this work that Dilip realized that the greatest challenge most corporations face is available leadership resources and effectiveness; too many followers looking up to rudderless leadership.

Dilip then decided to work with corporations helping them understand the leadership process and how to increase leadership effectiveness at every level. Soon afterwards, when the job-market tanked in Silicon Valley in 2001, Dilip changed his career track yet again and decided to work initially with many high-tech refugees, who wanted expert guidance in their reinvention and reemployment. Quickly, Dilip expanded his practice to help professionals from all walks of life.

Now in his fifth career, Dilip works with professionals in the Silicon Valley and around the world helping with reinvention to get their dream jobs or vocations. As a career counselor and life coach, Dilip’s focus has been career transitions for professionals at all levels and engaging them in a purposeful pursuit. Working with them, he has developed many groundbreaking approaches to career transition that are now published in five books, his weekly blogs, and hundreds of articles. He has worked with those looking for a change in their careers–re-invention–and jobs at levels ranging from CEOs to hospital orderlies. He has developed numerous seminars and workshops to complement his individual coaching for helping others with making career and life transitions.

Dilip’s central theme in his practice is to help clients discover their latent genius and then build a value proposition around it to articulate a strong verbal brand.

Throughout this journey, Dilip has come up with many groundbreaking practices such as an Inductive Résumé and the Genius Extraction Tool. Dilip owns two patents, has two publications in the Harvard Business Review and has led a CEO roundtable for Chief Executive on Customer Loyalty. Both Amazon and B&N list numerous reviews on his five books. Dilip is also listed in Who’s Who, has appeared several times on CNN Headline News/Comcast Local Edition, as well as in the San Francisco Chronicle in its career columns. Dilip is a contributing writer to several publications. Dilip is a sought-after speaker at public and private forums on jobs, careers, leadership challenges, and how to be an effective leader.



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