It’s the end of the 1st Quarter, that bewitching time of the year when companies find themselves on budget and on track or they find themselves off their forecasted trajectory. It’s at this point that the entire year can be made or lost because it’s very hard to recover from a slow start. The strong executive will make tweaks to get back on track and recover, even if it takes two quarters to catch up. Why is this important to you? No matter the industry, product, service, or geography, you need to be thinking how this could impact your career. In the end, spending is reduced and less jobs/opportunity are created coming out of a slow first quarter. Below is a Jan 2017 post with a couple of the best career management tips we authored on transitioning to a new role and the opportunity to reinvent yourself.
Jan 2017: Another mentee starting a new role today and they are completely prepared to reinvent themselves. Check out the three things you need to focus on when you approach ‘Day One’…….
I’ve been coaching/mentoring a very talented broadcast media and communications pro who is starting a new job today. I’ve been thinking about the advice I should give her. In fairly short order, I’ve come up with a couple things I think she (or anyone else) should focus on as she starts her new job. Here’s what I have told her:
- Reinvent Yourself
- Get to Know Yourself
- Enjoy The Ride
1. Reinvent and Build A Path To 2020 Vision . It’s been said that on the very first day, the employee and company will look the best they will ever be to each other and then its all downhill from there. I don’t believe this to be true but you will definitely see warts that you didn’t see during the interview process, but then nor has the company seen your warts. This is where your 2020 Vision (five years from today) comes in on Day One.
- What is your desired 2020 role? I’ve always told mentees that you should be looking for your next job on Day One of your new job! Sounds harsh but in reality, you always need to be working forward. So, what’s your roadmap look like between 2015 and 2020? I always start with the vision output, the desired goal, and work backwards. How is this job/role going to help close gaps between today and your five year goal?
- Identify the attributes or skills that you need to develop or conversely, change and reinvent. Do a simple Start, Stop, and Continue exercise. What do you need to start doing to gather the skills necessary to move toward your goal? What do you stop doing? What were you labeled with in previous roles that you need to shed? This is a great opportunity to clean your closet. This is your chance, don’t blow this opportunity! Finally, what are the things you need to continue? These are the skills you’ve been recognized for in the past that are relevant in your 2020 Vision. Focus on leveraging your strengths and managing your weakness.
2. Know Yourself Well. Most people don’t spend the time to understand what makes them tick during usual behavior and in stress situations. I’ve been through extensive personality assessments and so have many others. An easy and free way to get a quick snapshot is the Myers-Briggs Personality Type. First, there are many supporters of Myers-Briggs but there are also a number of detractors. It is a very basic snapshot of who you are and how you tick. It takes 10-15 minutes start to finish at one of many free web sites to get a brief overview. I’d highly recommend this if you have never done it. Google “Myers Briggs” or “16 Personalities” and you’ll find free quick 10-15 minute surveys. I like: www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
You can learn more about Myers-Briggs and the 16 Personality types here: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/take-the-mbti-instrument/
So the most important part of knowing yourself well in this context is that you can identify when and where you might get put into a challenging situation and you should have a personal action plan on how to deal with it. Look, if you are an introvert working with a bunch of extroverts, or you’re an engineer or producer and asked to work with the on-camera talent, there is going to be moments of tension and friction. It’s important to know what makes you tick and how to identify and deal with the stress before you exhibit your stress behavior. Not saying all stress behavior is bad but knowing how to deal with it puts you way ahead of the game. Look, learning how to deal with stress is where the pro’s come in and not left with those of us who play a doctor on LinkedIn. Here’s where I’ll leave it….you can’t avoid stress but you can recognize it, manage it, and thrive.
3. Have Fun! Look, life is a journey and you need to enjoy the ride. Whether it’s celebrating a big closed sale, a ratings jump, or conversely, a lost opportunity, a lost election, or a ratings decline, these are all formative and you need to recognize it and celebrate the opportunity to learn from it. You need to embrace and love this first day in your new role. It’s a great chance to start a step in your career with a smile and set the tone for the amazing opportunities ahead of you. Especially on that first day. Who doesn’t love a smile?!
So that’s it my friend. Enjoy your first day. You have very few first days in a 40 year career and it’s a very special opportunity that you can’t let pass without recognizing how very cool those first hours and days can be.
About Mike McNamara:
Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.
Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services. Today he coaches a number of high profile media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.
Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and also holds a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House – St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.