Six Tips for Effective Onboarding: Becoming Confident in Your New Job

This post was written by resident mbaMission Career Coach Elissa Harris. To sign up for a free 30-minute career consultation with Elissa, please click here.

With MBA graduations right around the corner, many of you will be starting new jobs soon. Getting off on the right foot is critical for job satisfaction and long-term success within an organization.

Whether your new employer offers substantial onboarding and training programs or whether you are expected to take the reins yourself as you forge ahead in your new role, these six tips can help set you up for success:

Gain clarity on your responsibilities. 

Ask your manager what the metrics of success are for your new position and how your work fits into that of the overall team. Learn about the company’s culture and any unspoken norms; listen carefully to your manager’s directions, and ask colleagues for guidance. 

Be proactive. 

Keep your manager up-to-date on the status of your projects; be aware that managers might have specific preferences on how they would like to be kept in the loop. If you are unsure about how to proceed on a project, consider asking for support with this language: “I am not clear on what my next steps should be, but here’s what I am thinking. Am I on the right track?” or “I am thinking about doing X next but wanted to confirm that with you first.”

Ask for and incorporate feedback. 

Get specifics using language like “This week, X happened. I’d love your thoughts on how I could have handled this situation better. Can we discuss it more?” Pay attention to nonverbal feedback; notice the changes/edits made to your work product, and ask why they were made. If you are struggling, request templates or samples of strong work product.

Get to know your team. 

Participate in office activities, and consider joining affinity groups. Gather information on each person’s working style; ask questions like “What do you need from me to ensure that we’re doing our best work?” Show appreciation for your team’s support and guidance.

Maintain a positive mind-set. 

Feeling overwhelmed (or even underqualified) when you start a new job is common, so do not worry. If you were an expert at your new job on Day 1, you would be bored by Day 30. Each day is a new opportunity to learn.  

Share your new job with your network. 

Add your new role to the experience section of your LinkedIn profile, and post an announcement of it, along with a note of appreciation to those who helped you. Send personalized thank-you emails to anyone who assisted you during your job search.

Finally, you worked hard to land your new position, so enjoy the journey! Be curious. Have fun. Build relationships. Learn new things. Find ways to make an impact.

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