Note: This material is adapted from Marketing Yourself for a Second Career, a publication available exclusively to MOAA Premium and Life members. Want to join or upgrade your membership? Click here to learn more.
Thanks to your hard work navigating the hiring process, you’re about to start a brand-new position – perhaps your first since leaving uniform. What’s your plan for the first 90 days?
Making a positive first impression is especially important in this situation. Here are a few things to consider:
Observe and Listen. There might be similarities when comparing your new company or organization with the military, but there will be some big differences, too. Try to keep in mind you are stepping into a new organization and culture, so it is important for you to figure out how to fit in. Don’t expect them to change to fit with you.
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Manage Expectations. It is very important to meet with your boss and understand his or her expectations. Identify one to two promising opportunities and focus on relentlessly translating them into wins. Ask questions, and be sure you have a firm handle on how you should align with those expectations.
Communicate Effectively. Determine how your boss prefers to communicate (i.e., email, phone, or face-to-face). Seek more frequent and informal feedback. Practice active listening, and avoid jumping in with your opinion or giving unsolicited advice.
Connect With Colleagues. Begin building relationships with seniors, juniors, peers, and key external constituents at your new company to help facilitate your assimilation into the company and the team.
Be Positive. Show enthusiasm for your new job and company. Pitch in where you can, even if it is not a part of your job description. Pay it forward — help someone today, and they will help you later.
Closing Out the Search
Before you’ve settled in, remember to tie up any loose ends from the hiring process. Examples may include:
- Sending thank-you notes to those who assisted you in your job search.
- Organizing records and updating contact information, to include your social media/LinkedIn profile.
- Addressing personal transition decisions (e.g., life insurance, 401(k)/Thrift Savings Plan transfer, health insurance).
- Informing (and thanking) your references.
Want more advice on getting started? Consider MOAA’s salary and benefits resources, or check out some ways to fine-tune your transition mindset. Premium and Life members also can take advantage of MOAA’s career consulting services at any stage of their professional journey; if you’ve landed the job but need guidance on making it work, don’t hesitate to reach out. Want to join or upgrade? Learn more at MOAA.org/Join.