What Can You Do In 100 Days to Improve Your Career Growth?

How you handle the first 100 days in a new position can help or hinder your career path.

How you handle the first 100 days in a new position can help or hinder your career path.

So your first 100 days at a new job in a new position will likely not land you as much scrutiny as the first 100 days in the Oval Office up this week for the chief executive officer of the United States.But you still could use a plan in order to ensure that your career growth is on a smooth incline.I know that I have started new positions with simple ice breakers, such as a simple meet and greet and a bowl of hard candy on my desk or breakfast treats shared in the meeting room or office kitchen, followed by a listening meeting to know what challenges exist and what the team expects from  me. I also have worked for leaders who start the first day with a stern approach and never look up to smile.[bctt tweet=“How you handle the #First100Days in a new position can help or hinder your career path “ username=“takeleadwomen”]Understand that how you are on the surface makes a difference for how you will be received and perceived beneath the surface.Knowing just how to make an impact, be effective, perhaps institute change and launch innovation can be on your 100 Days Agenda. You want to settle in, get acquainted with systems and establish your leadership style. Now that you have found the supply room and learned the work habits of your team, how you create your action plan of 100 Days is important to your success.[bctt tweet=“Knowing how to make an impact, be effective, & launch innovation can be on your #100DaysAgenda” username=“takeleadwomen”]

  1. What’s wrong. You can start to peer into the gaps in funding and performance and see what you can go after to improve initially. “As quickly as possible within your first 100 days, you will need to understand where the fault lines lay in your company. Pay particular attention to the three hidden determinants of your company’s true strategy – how it funds and staffs projects, how it measures and rewards performance, and how it allocates overall budgets. A clear understanding of where leaders’ priorities fail to match what the company is actually funding and rewarding will help you identify the biggest hurdles to achieving your longer-term agenda, and where short-term workarounds are required,” write Scott Anthony and Robyn Bolton in Harvard Business Review.

  2. What’s right. Take care to take note of the details and see what goes well. Do a lot of listening and also asking questions. According to Idealist, “The amount of new information you’ll be receiving makes it nearly impossible to remember everything. Important things to jot down include co-workers’ names, job titles, and something memorable about your interaction with them; information about the organization that you won’t be able to find in documentation later on; and little nuggets of wisdom you might receive from new colleagues.”

  3. Set a timeline and manage expectations and outcomes. Sure, 100 days is not a lot of time. You can also count 100 business days, so that is 20 weeks or about 5 months, as opposed to a little over three months. Still, you need to set goals and assess when you reach the milestones. “Team milestone management is the single most important operational leadership skill you can develop. It is the critical link between theoretical strategies and plans and activities that actually have practical, value-creating impact,” George Bradt writes in “The basics of milestone management are indeed basic: What’s getting done by when by whom. Map it out. Track progress on a regular basis. Adjust as appropriate.”

  4. Don’t overpromise. It’s super tempting to want to debut as the savior everyone has been waiting for to help the team, the company, the organization. But resist the urge to make declarations you can’t meet, or you will set yourself up as a failure. This will be an impediment for your career growth. “During your first 100 days you must set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives for the short and medium term. This requires an informed position for both you and your manager. Be sure to set up at least one career planning meeting with your manager during the first few days,” writes Michael Stephens in Social Hire.

  5. Spell it out step by step. Be realistic about the scope of your plan and what can be done. Build in time for mistakes, revision, discussion, as well as brainstorming and paradigm shifts. And definitely allow people tine to get used to you. Break the 100-day goal down into logical intervals, for example the completion at the end of 50 days, 25 days and 10 days,” writes Sharad Verma at My Star Job.

  6. Discover how you need to adapt. It may look easy on the home makeover shows, to come in and knock down walls and throw everything away that is already there. Not a good idea as an effective leader. “During your transition period, identify new skills, knowledge and the relationships that will help you continue to progress in your career,” writes Debora J. McLaughlin, author ofThe Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People,” and CEO of The Renegade Leader Coaching & Consulting Group, in the New York Daily News.

  7. Carpe the chaos. This is Power Tool # 5 from the 9 Leadership Power Tools created by Glora Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead.Change creates chaos. But chaos also means boundaries become more fluid. That’s when people are open to new ways of thinking, to innovation, and to new roles for women. Carpe the chaos, for in chaos is opportunity,” according to Feldt.

As a leader in the workplace, realize that not only are you watching for markers on your path of career growth to know you are on the right trajectory. You are also being assessed and monitored by your team. Be mindful of how you react to success as well as mistakes, and know that the first 100 days in your position can be something to celebrate and build upon in your quest for healthy career growth.[bctt tweet=“The #First100Days in your position can be something to celebrate and build upon” username=“takeleadwomen”]“Implementing 100-day plans are great as they infuse new energy, bring tremendous focus and help the team to rally towards a common goal,” Verma writes. “Effective managers can use this tool to bring about great results.”And when you reach 100 days, you decide if you want to silently observe how far you have come or how far you have yet to go. Or if you want to break out in song in the conference room in front of your team. You can also create a challenge for yourself for your next 100 days so you can continually improve.