Questions to Ask when Beginning a New Job

If you’ve earned a new position, congrats! When beginning a new job, it’s important to feel comfortable with the company and your new boss and team. During your first couple of days on the job, ask some of the following questions to help focus your work and set goals. • What are the top priorities for the company and our team? This question is vital to your success. If you think their priorities are XZY but they are really ABC, all of your work may be in vain. Also, ask which projects take top priority. You need to learn to budget your time.

How do you prefer to communicate and approve projects? Establishing a strong communication pattern with your boss will save you endless headaches and wasted time. If your supervisor is not one for interruptions, they may get upset if you keep dropping by to get their feedback. It may be best to set appointments.

How and when will my performance be evaluated? Asking this question will help you structure your work so it is easily measured and evaluated. The more profitable/positive results you can show, the better.

Will there be opportunity for advancement within the company? This will let your boss know you have long-term goals in mind. Caution: This is a question to ask after you have been there awhile. You may want to ask a co-worker you’ve gotten to know, “Do people move around a lot in this company?” This will give you a feel for the type of answer your boss will likely give.

Make sure you start off on the right foot and familiarize yourself with the operations of your new company and your team/boss. And to those lucky folks who are growing their team and bringing on new employees, please express the above info to your new hires! A welcoming work environment is positive for everyone.

Building a Professional Network

We always hear that building professional networks is vital to success, but it should also be noted that your network should reach beyond family and friends.

Family and friends are great, and most of us would be lost without them. They create a great support system in a wide variety of situations—including helping you fulfill your dreams. However, if you’re talking business, you really need to expand your network. Most women rely on family members as their primary network, but these individuals don’t always have access to meaningful business information—like new leads, business experts or financial advice.

Your contacts should be people who will help you develop your competitive advantage. You need diversity of opinions and backgrounds, so as you build your network, try to include individuals with varying backgrounds and expertise. Ideally, it should be people who don’t work for you. That way you can benefit from different perspectives and ideas. You can begin by joining and participating in social media sites and joining local professional networking groups. So, get out there and start reaching out.

Things to consider before starting a business

Before bringing a great business idea to life, you must prepare yourself for what’s ahead. There are many things you can do, but begin by connecting with people. First, find a mentor, a person who can teach you the ropes and share personal experiences at the same time. Learn from this individual. Why is she successful? What could this person have done differently?

Of course, you may have to step out of your comfort zone. For instance, the next time you’re riding the elevator with a co-worker you don’t know, introduce yourself. It’s critical to develop relationships, so start immediately!

Do you have a fantastic mentor that you want to tell us about? Go ahead, we’d love to hear about the real people in your life! For more on mentors and networking check out my book, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.

Mentors: Paving the way to success

When you discover your passion in life, find someone who’s been successful at it—and make that person your mentor.

Are you connecting with individuals in your industry? Do you routinely meet with one or two mentors who can answer questions, provide encouragement and nurture your dreams? Make a list of possible mentors, and put them on your calendar. Then, remember to be there when someone new to the industry needs your guidance.

Freelance writer and Internet talk show host/producer Carrie Runnals lives by this tip from her father. Here’s what it means: Find someone who shares your passion, has experienced success and is willing to share what he or she knows with you. Learn all you can from that person, and when you’re successful, become a mentor to someone else. Carrie had many careers before her present one as host of the Words to Mouth Internet talk show and companion blog Web site. Through it all, she’s never been afraid to ask someone, “How do you do that?” Because the technology associated with podcasting changes rapidly, Carrie often finds herself asking more experienced professionals for assistance. In turn, she’s eager to help colleagues who are new to the industry.

Carrie Runnals learned early on that networking and mentoring are critical components to success. You, too, can connect with like-minded individuals at Share your stories, your advice and your dreams. Together, we’ll learn from each other.

Develop an excellent support system of mentors and employees.

They will become your team.

To accomplish this, you’ll need to determine the qualities you want in an employee. Begin by thinking about your heroes. Write down the names of two or three people, past or present, that you admire. Then, list the characteristics that you admire in those people. Are there some commonalities between them? If so, these may be the qualities you want your employees to exhibit. And they will likely be the same qualities that you admire in your mentors.

Lisa Cini, president/owner of Mosaic Design Studio, is a great example of how this works. She’s done a fabulous job of developing a strong support system of mentors and employees. “Not only did the mentors allow me to learn from them, but they also provided a safe place to express excitement, fears and concerns,” she says. At the same time, Lisa makes it her mission to hire happy, honest, passionate, hardworking problem-solvers who want to be challenged. Together, mentors and employees create a winning combo for Lisa—and her business.

What are the qualities you look for in new employees? Learn more about hiring in Real Fact No. 5 of Real You Incorporated.