How to Stand Out in the First 6 Months of a New Job – Part 2

As shared in the part 1 of this series, looking back at the last 6 months, I thought I would reflect on what has been important during my first few months on the job and share some tips that can help you too. There is one important thing to achieve during your first 3-6 months at a new job, and that is to build a reputation that will work for you in the long run. This can be done through two things: 1) highlighting your work ethic and 2) building your network and – indirectly – making them aware of point no. 1 and how you work. I chose to split this topic into a two part series. The second one – this post – will focus on building your network.

I am not sharing rocket science formulas nor complicated goal setting spreadsheets, but a few simple tips, that if done right allow you to go big. These tips allowed me to get a salary increase as part of my first review and within the first 6 months, which is something I’m quite proud of.


Created with GIMP


Part 2 – Building your network 

At the start, meet, talk, work and interact with as many people as possible. On the one hand, during this time you want to simply meet people, while on the other, you need to already start positioning yourself and your work ethic. This is especially important within your extended team and stakeholders, the people whose input will count in your feedback rounds and reviews.

How to approach that you say? Ideally, when joining, your manager should have already prepared a list of people that you should meet in your first few months. If that’s the case, you probably have a somewhat good manager that is aware of the importance of building relationships and is eager to support you on that matter. If you don’t, well I don’t want to speculate on the reason, but you’re not lost and you can still take matters into your own hands and be successful.

Be proactive and start by asking your manager to list out a few people you should talk to. For most people that should be enough to get you started. If you don’t have access to your manager, then simply turn to anyone on your team to kick it off. Once you have the first person to talk to or maybe even a small list of people to meet, get to work. You can simply message them via your internal messaging tool doing a short intro and asking to meet them, or if you feel comfortable enough, simply book time in their calendars – make sure to write a short 2-3 line intro in the meeting invite and the purpose of the meeting; 30-45 minutes should be enough for first intros.

I recommend that you show up a little prepared to these intro sessions in order to get the most out of them. I’d approach it as follows:

  • Look up the person you will meet and their position in the internal org charts and prepare a few questions around their responsibilities, projects/topics that are important to them right now, workflows/processes relevant to your role and anything else you might want to know.
  • In the meeting, start with a short intro to yourself. You can first mention your current role and responsibilities, highlight your past experience, and also share some personal details about yourself so you can connect on a personal level.
  • Ask the other person to do the same and also share what they are responsible for. This should then just kick things off for you and have the conversation flowing naturally. If that’s not the case, simply make user of the list of questions you came prepared with to keep it going.
  • To close it off, ask them to recommend the next person you should talk to. This is an excellent way to make sure you meet not only people relevant to your role but also informal leaders and influencers in the company.


Have an impact on your immediate team. Another important point is the impact you have on your team. My personal recommendation is to bring a good attitude to the team. I personally invested quite a lot into team building during the first few months and I continue to do so, and I think that has paid off. It coincided that the team I joined was fairly new, and even though I was the freshest in the team, I took it upon myself to help with team building. I volunteered to moderate team meetings and inserted fun ice breakers, organized digital team activities to bring the team together, and made sure to regulary meet 1on1 with the different team members. This requires a little effort and organization, but I think it’s something that really sets you apart. Firstly, it shows that you truly are a team player, and secondly, it creates/adds to a good team dynamic that keeps everyone motivated. Win-win if you ask me and easy to put in practice.

So this is it, these are my tips to help you nail your first few months on the job – whether that’s the first 3 or 6 months, depending on your pace. I strongly think that at the start it’s not a matter of truly having a business impact, but rather showing that you have the potential to have that impact down the line. With these tips, you can start building a reputation within the company and among your team. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is, because if you position yourself well since the beginning, you will always benefit from this positive image. This can go from having a good leverage for promotions or salary negotiations to getting on more interesting projects, but also having an effortless work relationship with your colleagues.

Let me know, do you have any other tips to complete my list?

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