So, what did you do on your first day?
I was asked this question the other day as I set out on an exciting new chapter in my career.
It’s a really good question. And for most of us, it’s not one we get to answer all that many times in our working lives.
So, what did I do? I just did what I thought was best. Before I got caught up in several procedural matters that needed to be attended to, before I accepted my first meeting request, or responded to some emails that had already found my inbox, I took some time to consider where I would want things to be in two years time.
To do that, I wrote down five words.
What does “ideal” look like.
And under that heading I wrote down what turned out to be seven high-level aims. I was very clear about what success would look like for each of the aims.
Then I got started on step one of the aim that we considered to be the highest priority of them all.
That’s what I did first.
As that first day unfolded, it occurred to me that my actions weren’t really that unique to a first day.
I could remember numerous times in my previous roles when I did exactly that same thing. I would stop, re-calibrate my aims and then take the first step that I thought was best to achieve the aim that was considered to be the highest priority.
That’s what we all have to do all the time. It’s not really any different whether it’s day one, in our first one hundred days or even day ten thousand.
Because to almost everyone else, whatever day of employment we happen to be serving isn’t really all that relevant. The value we bring to our first day — and the value we will bring in all the days that follow — that’s actually what matters most.
What does ideal look like?
What do I need to do to get there?
What should I do next?
May we all enjoy many productive ‘first days’ regardless of how long we’ve been employed.
Jeff Miller is an experienced Chief Executive Officer, business strategist and communications specialist. Jeff has led organisations for over 20 years and enjoys writing about his experiences, both good and bad. He loves helping people, and organisations, achieve their full potential.