The Importance of Defining Success From the Start


businesswomanDress to impress. Don't be late. Take notes. Ask questions. With so much to remember on your first day, how can you possibly keep track of it all?
Moreover, what advice is the most important? We asked Holly Paul, Chief Human Resources Officer of cloud marketing software company, Vocus to shed some light on two areas of the new hire process that are often overlooked: defining success and setting goals.

What are the benefits of defining success?
Once you establish what it means to be a success, you can be successful. "If you understand the expectations of the job and have a plan for what needs to be accomplished, you'll have a much better chance at accomplishing the plan," Paul states. Don't just wait for someone to create your plan for you. Be proactive. Investigate what is expected of you and how that ties into the organization's bottom line.

Who should you look to as a resource?
Look to your department manager or supervisor to guide you towards identifying the standards used to measure your performance, and how you can best meet them. "Talk with your supervisor about what high performance means in your department and job." Paul recommends. Why? "As a supervisor, he or she should have a better sense for the elements that make your organization successful. What's more, he or she knows how your individual role fits into the bigger picture. Don't stop there." Paul also advises that you should look to your peers as living examples of success at your organization. Identify which of your colleagues is a high performer and form a relationship with them. "If you know what the best athlete does and you know what your supervisor is looking for in the best athlete, you have a menu to follow in the same path," she notes.

Why should you be proactive about discussing high performance?
By taking the initiative you will immediately stand out to your supervisor as a go-getter and as someone they want on their team for future projects. "All companies and leaders want high performers on their teams. It's your job to become one of those high performers," Paul explains.

How can setting goals make you a high performer? "When you start a new career, you want to make sure you position yourself for success. The best way to do this is by having a plan and setting goals," Paul states. Give yourself checkpoints and timelines to completing each goal. Start by creating a 30, 60, and 90 day plan that incorporates both short and long-term goals.

By spreading these performance goals out over your first few months, you can better organize and execute your approach. Organization and accountability are the keys to success, and goal setting is the surest way to acquire these performance traits.

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