Today I’m delighted to welcome Scot Herrick to the blog to tell us a little about himself, and in particular his new book, “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???”
Scot, tell us a bit about you.
Christine, thanks for this opportunity! In the business world, I’m the Principal of CubeRules.com and the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job—Now What???” I have a long history of management and individual contributor positions in Fortune 100 sized companies. Outside of the business world, I’m happily married to Kate and father to my stepson.
What inspired you to create your blog, Cube Rules?
Most of the business blogs out there focus on management or leadership or processes or some methodology (Lean, Six Sigma). Few focus on the professional individual, toiling away in the corporate cubicle, who wants to do a great job, enjoy doing the work and knowing how to best manage their work.
There are few tools to help them. Plus much of the advice out there (“10 ways to prevent a layoff!” “Use your resume to get the job!”) is simply not accurate from my managerial experience. Cube Rules was meant to fill this huge gap.
Who should be reading Cube Rules and why?
One of the great things you talk about here at A Different Kind of Work is the corporate experience you want to have as an individual. Your work focuses on an individual’s needs to match the work to the person. Cube Rules, on the other hand, focuses on the tactical ways to implement that great corporate experience on the job.
Cube Rules is about what it takes to land the job, be successful on the job, and have a satisfying career. So the articles and products provide the “nuts and bolts” ways of going about doing just that.
I’ve managed hundreds of individuals and very few know – and do – what is needed for success on the job beyond their job skills. Cube Rules can give a person the knowledge and tools to navigate the workplace.
How did your book come about?
It came about because of the same lack of focus on the individual when starting a new job. Most books talk about starting a new job from the “leadership” level – what to do the first 100 days in running a company, how to evaluate a board of directors and all that sort of stuff.
If you look for what it takes a professional individual working in a corporate cubicle to do when starting a job, you don’t find much. Except, of course, “you MUST be successful in the first 30 days on the job. Or else!” So what does “successful” mean? The book tells you how to go about getting to success.
What makes you believe that the first 30 days of a new job need such focus?
I’ll give you a great, true example. A company interviews candidates for a job and then ranks the candidates from one through whatever. They offer the first ranked candidate the job. The candidate makes one mistake – or is perceived as not getting how to do the work – and the company fires the candidate days into the job and offers it to the next ranked candidate on the list. When they find the perfect candidate, they stop the firing. The killer is that the person losing the job has to fight for unemployment because they were terminated “with cause…”
Now, while true, that’s extreme. But companies believe they need success from their new hires right out of the gate. You, starting a new job, need to get into the work and quickly integrate into the corporate culture. Otherwise, you risk losing the job or getting labeled as an “average” employee and having to break those perceptions. Once those perceptions are set, they are very hard to break.
If there was one piece of advice you’d highlight in particular from the book, what would it be and why?
I’ll provide two. One tactical piece of advice: Before you start the job, I ask that you determine how long your new job will last. Which is counterintuitive because you haven’t even started the job yet. But, no job lasts forever. Based on what you know before you start, will the job last two years before you are bored or three years before you are ready for a promotion, or eighteen months before the ending of the project…whatever. How long will the job last and why?
At the end of the 30-days, and armed with all the information you have found from your work, I ask that you re-evaluate how long the position will last. It will be a consistently moving target, of course, but when the time frame for finding a new job matches up with how long you think your current job will last, you need to start looking for a new gig.
Second, an attitude: the job has to be right for the way you work. The advice I give for the first 30 days is not only about you being successful in the new job for the company, but also determining if the job is right for you. The sooner you know the answer to the job being right for you, the sooner you can make adjustments in your approach to match the job to your needs.
The book is aimed at individuals. Shouldn’t businesses be paying attention to it to?
Yes, but most focus on simple “onboarding” where they ensure you have access to company systems and corporate benefits. They don’t look at all if the job is right for you and rarely focus on what management needs to do to incorporate your skills to help the company.
In fact, the whole onboarding process is something to evaluate about how the company treats employees. It is the first “company process” you encounter and how well that process is executed is your first hint about the management culture. I once started at a company where it took five weeks to get a computer so I could do my work. What does that tell you about management focus and execution?
I take the approach that if you are searching for the right job to match up with the right corporate experience you want to have, you’ll need to make the effort to ensure you learn about the work, culture, and management, plus determine if the job is also right for helping you do your best work.
What’s next on your agenda?
One of the actions I suggest in the book to do is a structured weekly review about the new job and what you should learn during the week (even if it takes more than a week!). I’m building some forms that help provide that structure. Plus, I’m working on a project that will hopefully help more people be successful in their job, not just when starting a new job.
What feedback would you like from readers here?
I’d love to hear what worked for you during the first 30 days of starting a new job, what didn’t work for you and how you solved what didn’t work for you. And, hey, I’ll answer questions about landing a job, starting a new job, or how to deal with the workplace as well.
And thanks again, Christine, for the opportunity. The work you are doing with the New Work Pioneer and building the right corporate experience for each person is really critical right now. Your advice in this area is a welcome addition to help people survive – and thrive – in the workplace.
If you’d like to follow Scot, you can do so on Twitter @scotherrick.