How to Avoid the Train Wreck in Your First 100 Days

According to the Society for Human Resources, over 25 percent of the US population experiences a job transition every year. Unfortunately, many of these transitions are not successful. In fact, half of outside senior hires fail within 18 months.

Don’t be a statistic. Following are eight traps that can derail a career in the crucial first 100 days in a new role:

  1. Failure to Clarify Expectations. While the formal job description lists expectations, there are also informal expectations that aren’t put on paper. What’s not on most job descriptions is how you will be measured, what success looks like and what level of proficiency you’re expected to perform at. How can you be sure you know what your leadership really expects from you.

  2. Failure to Understand Your New Manager AND Their Style and Needs. The first 100 days is the time to build a strong relationship with your new manager. What makes them tick? What drives them? How can you best adapt to their communication and decision-making style?

  3. Not Building Credibility and Trust with Peers and Colleagues. Each employee is different. The first 100 days is an important time to assess your team and set strategies to engage employees. You need to understand there’s a rhythm between egos, results and relationships.

  4. Being Perceived as Eccentric. Take time to learn the culture and fit in. You have one shot at fitting in and there’s only one pair of eyes you have to see how you fit and dozens, maybe even hundreds watching you.

  5. Aligning With the Right Players. Your first 100 days gives you an opportunity to understand the informal power structure in the organization. Who are the up and comers? Who is on their way out?

  6. Step on Political Landmines. Unless you are specifically expected to go after sacred cows in the organization, tread wisely during your first 100 days. I’ve been there and blown a few up myself. I can tell you how to recognize them, how to avoid and counteract them and save you from yourself.

  7. Taking Abrupt Action Without Taking the Time to Learn. Give yourself enough time to observe and understand why things are the way they are. There’s a proven process from nearly thirty years of real-world experience. Follow the process.

  8. Failure to Develop. As Marshall Goldsmith’s book title says, “What got you here won’t get you there.” There’s a ticket to play AND a ticket to stay. During your transition period, be humble enough to identify new skills, knowledge, and relationships that will help you continue to progress in your career.

To learn more about making effective transitions, contact us at 205-482-2177 or email and be sure to download our FREE “100 Day Transition Assessment” by clicking here.

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