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Sunday, March 29, 2009

You've Accepted the Offer - Now What?

Time and time again I see the top candidate accept an offer, and arrive on their first day with the drive and passion to change the company. Yet, in many cases, this gets them off to a very rocky start.The six guidelines below will help you identify a strategic approach for your first 30 days of employment. This will help you define how to demonstrate your value and build effective alliances.Be PreparedRemember that you were not hired to warm a chair. You are being hired to address and correct certain pain–points that the company may be experiencing, and you will likely be stepping into a situation that needs to be fixed. Don’t be shocked by the reality of the challenges that you face. Embrace every challenge as an opportunity to succeed. They need you. Develop a Strategic PlanBe a self–starter who takes initiative by making introductions. Meet the company’s team leaders to gather their perspective on the company, the products and their services. If done properly, this will allow you an opportunity to create long–term value and stability in the company. Take this initiative internally and externally. If necessary, travel to meet existing clientele to facilitate and manage any transition or knowledge transfer that may be necessary. With this, you’ll become a leading and respected authority who helps drive the goals and aspirations of the company. Establish Trust with Your Peers, Colleagues and ClientsUnderstand the executive team’s vision for the future and embrace their immediate expectations to create synergy in goal setting and objective management. This includes even basic financial goals. Investigate and fully understand the revenue goals as determined by the executive leadership team.To meet these goals, develop best practices and understand the current customer needs, expectations and service level agreements. Identify existing client relationships within the management team to create a plan for maximizing ongoing, trusted referrals. Examine the existing opportunities within the company and its client base and uncover the client’s expectations for the future.Keep Your Mouth Closed and Your Ears OpenSpend time with your new boss, but don’t camp out in his/her office! It’s critical that you use this person as a resource, not a crutch. Use the transitory time to stay informed, but as a rule never get involved in petty corporate politics. If you have a respectable title, you will suddenly become everyone’s best friend and people will want to talk to you.Further, consider some sort of effective networking or continuing education in order to remain on the front lines as a valuable resource to the company and your market discipline. Always be mindful of how your learnings can affect the direction of the company and its product line. Don’t Swing for the Fences on Your First DayPartner with the management team to create attainable goals and targets for success. This will create buy–in and set priorities. Start at a high level by memorizing and fully understanding the company’s mission. Embrace this to create a shared vision and focus for the future. Take the next step of filtering these goals down by prioritizing existing projects and activity based on profitability and resources. Be transparent with your team about these shared goals and reiterate management’s vision for the future to create solid partnerships with in the organization.Keep it Simple – Get it Done.
Be yourself and don’t try to over–impress anyone. Engage with clients naturally and develop a philosophy and expectation of being their premier, cost-effective solution provider. Ensure that your team also embraces the vision and translates this to their clients and vendors.
Remember that you were hired because you are the right person to help drive the company towards success in revenues and market share. Being able to "do the job" is easiest if you are the right person to fit within their corporate culture and professional environment.
Enjoy your job, embrace change, and remember that a challenge is nothing more than an opportunity to succeed!

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