Some new employees show up and make a terrific first impression and often, that has powerful downstream implications. They create a kind of ‘Halo Effect’ that leads to a positive assumption that they will be great:
“What a great hire!”
“Put her on the ___ (high visibility project with the best senior people)”
“She’s going places…”
Initially, they get the benefit of the doubt as they emerge
And often they get better assignments
So how do you self-position and create the Halo Effect in order to give you a strong initial advantage? Listen up.
The essential element when beginning every new role is excellent preparation. If you are starting an internship, a new job, or a promotion within the organization, preparation is key.
Terrific preparation for a new position does two things:
First: You walk into the assignment with more confidence. You feel more confident and excited when you are prepared and knowledgeable. You learn at a faster pace and you walk with a bit of conviction. You are NOT cocky, but you are confident.
Second: Thorough preparation lets you stand out early with the organization while they form an early impression about you.
Here are four steps to becoming ultra-prepared:
A way to begin this conversation is to ask open-ended questions. Here are some examples:
“Of those who have been the most successful in my role, what did they do to stand out?”
“Of those who have had my role and disappointed you or failed, what did they do wrong?”
This will pull significant guidance out of your soon-to-be boss.
These steps apply to both formal jobs and internships. Remember internships are summer-long job interviews so preparation matters.
If you follow this advice, you will be more prepared than 98 percent of the people who have joined before you. So what does that do? It allows you to approach your new assignment with a huge advantage.
Being terrifically prepared positions you as a high potential over-achiever. Remember what your mother told you about first impressions.
Fantastic preparation also lays a foundation where you can learn at a more rapid rate. When you go through onboarding or new hire training, you grasp the material faster than someone who did not fully prepare.
Ultimately, thorough preparation gives you more confidence. Confidence is essential when playing your A-game.
Good luck, now get moving!
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