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3 Tips To Kicking Ass in a New Job

A smart, much younger colleague is about to start a new sales job. He asked me for advice on how to hit the ground running. This doesn’t address some of the basics (show up on time, dress well, etc). I boiled it down to three things:

  1. Figure out who is best at the job and spend real time with them. Take them to lunch. Buy them a beer. Most importantly, ask them lots of questions and listen to their answers. And, if possible, do their job with them — observe them, paying special attention to how they interact with people around them
  2. Get good at active listening — asking smart questions and listening to the answers. Try the things that you learn. Get good at the skill of listening and iterating — being your own agile product. Invest in building strong relationships in your organization. Listening (and doing what you say you’re going to do) is the easiest way to accomplish that
  3. Be curious. Figure out how other people outside your role and department do their jobs. Learn how customers really use your product(s). Learn why people don’t use your product. Try to boil everything you learn down to simple from: to: stories that you could explain to a layperson outside your industry. In other words, try to understand the underlying dynamics that drive your business or organization. And, keep digging