How to Advance Your Career from Your First Day on the New Job

New employee shaking hands with coworkers on first day of new job

Even in the midst of job search, it’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to advance your career once you land your new job.

Now you’re probably thinking, wait a minute, I haven’t even landed and I need to be thinking about where I want to go next? Isn’t that jumping the gun?

Not really, especially if you want to continuously advance your career. Planning your career is a little like playing chess. You should always be looking 2 or 3 moves ahead.

So, let’s imagine you’ve landed that perfect job for this stage of your career. Here are some things you can do to ensure you advance your career from day one.

1. Make a great first impression
When you start a new role, you will be meeting a lot of new people. Just like in your interviews people formulate opinions of you in the first 10 seconds of meeting you. Make sure you smile, give a firm handshake and act polite.

2. Listen and learn
Nobody knows it all on day one. The first 90 days on the job you should spend a great deal of time listening to people on your team and customers to learn how you might best make a positive impact.

Be on a mission on how you can serve your co-workers and customers better. Ask questions about what is working and what is not to figure out what could be your quick wins.

Then don’t stop learning. Make a list of professional development opportunities you’d like to accomplish and make sure it aligns with where you want to go next.

Also read: How to Be the CEO of Your Career

3. Show your unique expertise and style
When you want to advance your career you need to continually build your personal brand. With a strong personal brand, opportunities will come to you. What is it that you do better than anyone else?

Once you know your brand, how are you promoting it? Volunteer for projects that use your expertise. Investigate where you can represent your company at industry events. See if you can write articles for the company’s blog.

4. Network
Just because you landed doesn’t mean you can stop networking. If anything, networking is even more important now than when you were in search mode. Pay it forward and give your time to others. When you need your network again, they’ll be happy to help.

5. Make your boss and others look good
Regularly check-in with your boss because your real job is figuring out how to make them look good. Ask what you can do to help get projects off their plate and help them succeed. And if you’re in a leadership position create opportunities for your staff to learn and succeed. Who would you like to replace you when it’s your time to move up?

Also read: Individual Contributor to Manager: How to Position Yourself for the Jump [AOTJ]

6. Give it your all 100% of the time
Strive to be indispensable and show you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Even if tasks land on your plate that fall outside your normal scope of responsibility, do what you can to keep moving things forward.

A new role can be overwhelming and sometimes stressful. Don’t let that deter you. Rise up to the challenge because performance trumps it all when it comes to that promotion.

7. Keep your career marketing materials up to date
When you start your new gig, it’s a great time to document the scope of your work. Set goals and update your resume and LinkedIn profile as you complete goals and projects. There is no such thing as job security anymore so you need to prepare for the unexpected – that could be a recruiter calling or a reorganization.

Landing a new job is exciting and a great accomplishment. Reward yourself, then, don’t let your foot off the gas so you can continue to advance your career. Remember it’s always easier to land a job when you have a job.

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About the Author

Self-proclaimed job search geek, Michelle Robin takes the often frustrating and miserable task of job search and makes it more enjoyable, perhaps even fun, for her clients. An award-winning dual-certified resume writer (NCRW, CPRW) and founder of Brand Your Career, Michelle helps sales and marketing executives transform their career marketing materials into a package that wows their target employer. Click HERE to register for Michelle’s free training, The 5-Step Game Plan to Land 6-Figure Marketing Roles Without Resumes or Attending Networking Events.