Starting a New Job? Patience is Not Always a Virtue

Good things come to those who wait.

But not always.

While patience is a commendable virtue, there's a time and a place for everything. Waiting on the sidelines is not always the appropriate course of action.

Take your first week or two on a new job, for example.

You haven't been given any directives yet. No marching orders from your new boss. You don't have any concrete idea regarding what sort of delivery he's expecting, or on what timetable.

You don't know anything about procedures he'd like to establish: frequency of reporting, preferred format, and so forth.

You're pretty much in the dark. You wait patiently.

Bad idea.

When you're starting a new job, waiting for somebody else to take the first step can be costly. It's critical that you hit the ground running.

It's up to you to establish rapport with your boss and to get your goals clarified right away.

You need to quickly determine how to work effectively with this person. Is he a hands-off kind of guy or does he prefer to be very involved? How does he want to be kept informed? Does he expect a written weekly update? A weekly meeting? Find out.

Likewise, if he doesn't initiate a conversation regarding establishment of goals right away, you need to be the one to make the first move. What are his expectations - both short and longer term? What key things need to be accomplished? In what order? Summarize what you've discussed in written form and send it back to him as a follow up.

What sort of resources will you need in order to achieve these goals? What will your boss need to do to support you? This also needs to be established up front.

Identify opportunities to meet or exceed expectations. Start producing useful results as quickly as possible. Then deliver on every commitment you make.