Boomer (not his real name), our real-life Baby Boomer job seeker has landed a job! The best part is, it is a job he is really looking forward to jumping into. We have been working together for a couple of months and he has taken feedback – positive and constructive – seriously. He has learned to navigate a new landscape of social media, re-dressed himself, learned new interview skills and now can celebrate success with friends and family.
Our final coaching session is to get Boomer ready for his first day of work. He worked for the same company for 20+ years, so it has been a while since he had a first day of work. As we begin our final session it is evident his roller coaster ride from despondent that he couldn’t find a job…to fear he didn’t know what he didn’t know…to frustration that I was asking that he do things he did not want to do…to panic going into his first interview with a new approach…to complete elation that he had a good offer and a job…has now landed him in apprehension of how to get off on the right foot. While the hard part is behind us, the next step is critical in securing his success – right from the beginning.
Below are the suggestions I provided to Boomer:
- One of the most important things you can do is be sincere and attentive. Demonstrate genuine interest in who people are, what they do and how they view your new role. People will form opinions quickly and this is your opportunity to show you are likeable, approachable and will be someone whom they will want to work. Hopefully, you have your journal with you, something we covered early in our coaching sessions, and it is a great time to take notes, such as names, titles, responsibilities, etc. Your journal is your key to escalating your entry.
- Since you interviewed onsite, you were instructed to pay attention to how people dressed. In addition, you have requested info about the desired dress code. Boomer, you were a ‘suit’ previously, Utica Square and Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa, offer lots of options for updating a business casual look. The dress code is ‘Business Casual’, which can mean many different things to many different people. The safest way to proceed is with dark slacks and a dress shirt – no tie. This will be acceptable and professional.
- Leverage being new and ask for assistance locating coffee, restroom, etc. These offer great opportunities for conversation that are first steps in good relationships.
- It is better not to take your personal office/cube paraphernalia with you on day one. Take a look around to see what is practiced and acceptable. Boomer, this is your first time to work in a cubicle. You will learn to maximize your space efficiently and to be respectful of your cube neighbors. Cubes can be great for fostering relationships and leveraging the collective energy. It will also allow you to have access to what’s going on around you, which is a great way to learn the company.
- The first week is a great time to ask for a few minutes with your new boss. Be sure to ask for your top three priorities for the next few months and how the results will be measured. This will demonstrate you are serious and are ready to get to work!
It is with mixed emotions that I cut Boomer loose. While I am thrilled he has achieved his goal and I have really enjoyed working with him. He has agreed to keep me posted on his progress and, as the first year passes, I will share his experiences with you. Good luck, Boomer!