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The Importance of Onboarding Yourself in Your New Job

Rachel Serwetz
Rachel Serwetz
October 25, 2021
The Importance of Onboarding Yourself at Work

While any and all companies are “expected” to do a proper onboarding process, they usually fall short. And while a new employee may think its not their responsibility to onboard themselves, in fact it is. The reason is that they will be the ones on the chopping block of they don’t get up to speed, so despite the resources and onboarding plan handed to them, you should take control of your plan to get started and onboarded quickly and effectively. Here’s how:

1. Create a visual document to outline your 30/60/90 plan

  • Consider including things like: what are you expected to learn/when, who are you meeting/when, what projects are you taking on/when, and what are your qualitative & quantitative expectations and by when.
  • Consider what materials you’re reviewing/when i.e. processes and tools/systems.

2. Network with your team & periphery teams

Understand your team’s place in the organization. Be sure you’re setting up one-on-one’s with each person on your team & key stakeholders on other adjacent teams. In these one-on-one’s, you can run through introductions, build rapport, understand what their role is in charge of, learn their preferred work style and communication style, and glean tips quickly that they gained the hard way.

3. Ensure you have a regular cadence to meet with your manager

Managers are always busy but if you ensure that a weekly meeting cadence is set, you’ll be sure to improve proactive transparency so they are aware of your progress, you can adjust your onboarding plan as needed, they can provide and offer support where needed, and you can facilitate feedback sharing.

4. Set up a method for transparent, regular updates & project management

Ask your manager how they best like to communicate regarding questions & progress updates. If you can set up a transparent tool or system so that your manager is aware what you’re focusing on and your current, real-time status, it will help them help you prioritize, balance your time, and adjust. Be sure not only to set up a transparent system but also to proactively direct your manager to provide feedback on your prioritization and progress.

5. Gather your performance expectations in writing

When will you be reviewed and on what? Try to find in the company’s performance management system the actual criteria you’ll be reviewed against. Sometimes it can include job/role expectations as well as company culture expectations. If you identify and locate these expectations, it will become easier to both ask for feedback on how/where to improve, as well as to do monthly self check-ins so you can proactively identify opportunities for improvement, well before a formal review.

The last thing you want is to be blind sided after a few weeks where people expect you to know certain things that you don’t already know. This is especially important for anyone who is on a contract, temporary, trial, or internship basis at a new job.

Whether you’re pursuing career management/advancement, debating which role you want to move into, trying to optimize your job search, debating skill development opportunities, or improving your personal branding, let us know how we can help!

The Importance of Onboarding Yourself in Your New Job

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Rachel Serwetz’ early professional experience was at Goldman Sachs in Operations and at Bridgewater Associates in HR. From there, she was trained as a coach at NYU and became a certified coach through the International Coach Federation. After this, she worked in HR Research at Aon Hewitt and attained her Technology MBA at NYU Stern. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of professionals with career exploration and for the past 4.5+ years she has been building her company, WOKEN, which is an online career exploration platform to coach professionals through the process of clarifying their ideal job and career path. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Binghamton University and has served as a Career Coach through the Flatiron School, Columbia University, WeWork, and Project Activate.

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