College to Career Calendar: Onboarding 301

Posted by Interview2work on Saturday, May 20, 2017

This is the thirtieth-first and final in a series of blogs supporting the College to Career Calendar available for downloading at www.interview2work.com. Today’s blog is the third of a three-part series on onboarding. My last two blogs explained why the process is so important, cited research showing not every employer has a dynamic onboarding program, and provided tips on what to do in the days before you start a new job and on the first day. In this final blog, we will be looking at actions to take during the first 30 days on the job.

During the interview process you might have been asked, “Where would you like to be in 5 years?” If I was asked, “Where would you like the new graduates and first-time professionals you work with to be in 5 years?” I know exactly what I would answer. I would say they are being offered exciting job opportunities. They would be picking up the phone or opening an email to discover a reciter asking if they would be interested in a job. They would use the skills learned following the College to Career Calendar; resume development, interviewing, salary negotiation, and onboarding but not dealing with the stress of trying to find job openings when they are ready to make their next career move.

What does my wish for you to get calls from recruiters have to do with onboarding? There are four career building habits you can start developing the first 30 days on the job that will help recruiters find you and want to connect with you.

Learning and developing your skills. The transition from college to career does not signal the end of learning. During the first thirty days on your new job set learning objectives; ask yourself what you should learn to improve my skills and the best way to gain the knowledge. Plan to take advantage of the training your employer provides.

Grow your network. Start with the people you work with; get to know them, what they do, and how you can help them accomplish their goals. Continue to connect with individuals in your field, participate in discussions, and write articles on LinkedIn. Become a contributing member of a professional organization. Consider joining a local service organization or becoming a volunteer for a favorite charity.

Prepare to take on leadership roles. Watch how your team lead/manager handles projects. As you observe how they manage people and projects determine what works and what doesn’t.  Ask for advice on how to improve and act on the advice you are given. When it is your turn to lead a project you will have a blueprint for success and be recognized as an outstanding employee.

Understand your industry. Learn as much as you can about what is happening in your industry; trends, innovations, regulations, and opportunities. Being a part of a professional organization is a great way to nurture this habit. You will be prepared both to contribute to your organization’s strategic plan and interviews questions asking you about your industry knowledge.

Why are these habits important? Because when employers decide who to promote/recruiter they are looking for:

  • Competitive skills/knowledge
  • Experience required to move to the next level
  • Ability to take and use feedback
  • Ability to build strong internal and external networks
  • Industry knowledge necessary to make wise business decisions

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