Karin And David’s Leadership Articles

Looking to make a great impression in your first job after graduation?

Or perhaps you’re about to start the first job you actually care about.

How do you show up strong and make a great contribution in the first sixty days?

How to Make a Great Impression in Sixty Days

1. Define Success

Of course, what success looks like depends on the organization and the role. Be sure you know. Start by asking your boss what success looks like.

  • What does success look like in this role?
  • What is the biggest priority for me in this role in the first sixty days?
  • Thinking about the most successful people in roles like this, what behaviors made them so good?
  • Sixty days in,  how will you know I was the right person for this job?

2. Exercise Confident Humility

They hired you in this job for a reason. Own your strengths. Share your insights and ideas. Confidence matters.

AND, also know that there’s much you don’t know. Take time to understand the culture and how things get done around here. Ask questions when you don’t understand or aren’t sure how to succeed. Listen a lot. Learn as much as you can. Surround yourself with people who will challenge you and help you grow.

3. Invest In Peer Relationships

You will naturally want to please your boss. But don’t overlook the importance of investing in deep peer relationships. Your competition is not the guy in the cube next door, it’s mediocrity. One of the most powerful ways to get off to a great start is to invest in building deep trust with your co-workers and getting to know them as people.

4. Know Your Business

Context matters. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make in their first job is that they don’t time to understand the context of the bigger business.

Do you know what matters most to your organization? What do customers care about? Who are your biggest competitors? What’s going on in the other departments? Consider taking a field trip to meet with your peers in other departments to learn what matters most to them.

5. Ask For Feedback

Be sure you’re checking in to ask for specific feedback on what you can do better. Not every day, that’s too needy. But particularly in the first sixty days in a new role, it’s good to have a weekly check in on progress. Here’s an easy tool that can help.

Asking For A Friend — How Do I Succeed in My First Job After Graduation?

A question that came in through Karin’s “Asking For a Friend” series on LinkedIn inspired this article. You can watch her answer here, or even better follow her on LinkedIn for weekly answers to tough leadership questions.

Your Turn

What advice do you have for someone starting their first job?


Karin Hurt And David Dye author photo

Karin Hurt and David Dye

Karin Hurt and David Dye help human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. As CEO and President of Let’s Grow Leaders, they are known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. Karin and David are the award-winning authors of five books including, Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. David Dye is a former executive and elected official. Karin and David are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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