Just got hired or promoted? Congratulations! But don't make the mistake of thinking you have three to six months to get acclimated to your new position. Today, new hires are expected to acclimate more quickly and to make immediate contributions from day one. This is especially true as so many companies are still working with reduced staff levels.
You can't wait for someone to train you. You have to be more proactive and resourceful. There aren't a lot of training resources in many companies today – and fewer people to train you. Don’t wait for people to volunteer to show you around. Ask questions. Look at your predecessor’s history to determine has been done in the past and to figure out what can be done differently. Explore the archives.
Ask what's expected of you.
Make sure that within the first couple of days you meet with your direct manager and you clarify your immediate priorities. Find out what your manager's short-term and long-term goals are for you and how and when you'll receive feedback. Additionally, try emailing weekly status updates of how your projects are progressing.
Meet the team.
Once you've pinpointed your top priorities for the coming weeks, set up meetings or lunch dates with the coworkers and colleagues who can help you meet those goals. Rather than waiting for someone to take your hand and make the necessary introductions, you need to navigate through the organization on your own.
Follow the corporate culture.
Note the unspoken office rituals -- for example, whether overtime is the rule or the exception, and whether teammates prefer to communicate by email, IM, phone or in person. Do your coworkers play music? Chat in the halls, or stick to themselves? Once you’ve figured it out, try to follow suit.
Pay attention to meeting etiquette
On some teams, everyone arrives or calls in to meetings five minutes early and that's when the appointment starts. On others, laptops and mobile devices are banned from the conference room. Ask a colleague about the meeting mores ahead of time so you fit in from the get-go.
Your attitude is the number one thing that gets you hired and the number one thing that gets you fired. You don't want to take on more than you can handle, but you do want to show absolute enthusiasm for your new job. Make sure you don't become complacent, and you will continue to shine.