That’s a great question. Every time you start a new job, you need to figure out once again how to proceed with email. The details will be different depending on the industry you are in and how advanced your new company is.
There is a way to break down this seemingly gargantuan task (getting started) into easier steps that will set you up for success. Consider the following points as a guide:
Quick hits. Look for the easiest “quick hit,” something you should be able to bring to life within 30-60 days. There’s nothing like forward momentum to get started, and a quick hit — no matter how small and tactical — can give you time to come up with the more strategic stuff while you look like you’re making headway. Sometimes your new boss or peers will give you hints about what they’re missing. Listen to them. it’s always easier to get someone else to decide this one, and then you’ll have an advocate for your next project. Plus, their wish list is going to help you with the next “how do I get started” step.
Situational deep dive. While you’ve got your quick hit in progress, formally evaluate your other options. What does “formally” mean? It means that this is the second thing your organization will see from you, so it needs to be an actual document that you can pass around. This can be done while you’re getting your quick hit going, and it will likely take you about 60-90 days from the day you start in your job. It should list what already exists, and where there are gaps that need to be filled.
Once you have shared this document with the senior people in your organization and gotten their buy-in, you can use it as a reference document. In other words, when someone asks why on earth you’re doing X, Y, or Z, you can point to the document and say, “because my evaluation suggested it would be a good next step, and senior management agreed with my evaluation.”
Strategic focus. Once your formal evaluation is complete, you can start working on an actual strategy. It should also be broken down into a few quick hits, a few slightly longer initiatives, and some investment ideas. Of course, you’ll need to share this around your organization. Your strategy will give you a starting point for establishing a budget as you kick off the next few initiatives. It can also get you some excitement and interest from other parts of the organization.
Because you are building the strategy based on your earlier evaluation, it shouldn’t be too hard to get senior management and peers to nod their heads in agreement with your plans.
The U.S. president isn’t the only one who gets judged on his or her first 100 days. Every time you start a new job, you have about that long to prove how effective you will be for the rest of your tenure. That first impression sticks with you as well. Focusing on getting at least one quick hit out the door while you evaluate the situation and build your strategy is a great way to combine immediate action with smart planning.