Jean Chatzky
In today's marketplace, it's not uncommon for workers to change jobs multiple times over the course of their careers. Yet starting a new job isn't an easy position to be in—you're in unfamiliar territory, you want to make a good impression and you want to succeed. How do you do all those things and still maintain your sanity?

Jean welcomes Susan Quandt, author of Sudden Impact on the Job: Top Business Leaders Reveal the Secrets to Fast Success. For the book, Susan interviewed 14 CEOs from various industries, asking them to share what they recalled about the first 18 months on the job, as well as their secrets for success. Susan talks to Jean about how to get started on the right foot at a new job:
  • Don't make a sudden impact, despite the title of Susan's book. It's better to ease your way into the position and set goals to reach for—so start by observing, Susan says.
  • Really understand the context of the company and position you're going into—there isn't a formula that you can follow in every single case. Be well versed in the company's unique goals.
  • Be flexible. You may come into your position with plans for changes ahead, but they could very well be way off. While it's important to have a plan, Susan says it's almost equally important to be ready to make changes.
  • Don't make proclamations right off the bat. The only promise you should make is that you'll be honest and do your best because you don't know what unexpected events might be coming your way, Susan says.
  • Face up to your weaknesses. Otherwise, it's really hard to develop your strengths, Susan says.
  • Leaders are optimists—rather than look at something as a mistake or a problem, they look at it as an opportunity. Susan says that out of the 14 CEOs she interviewed, only one admitted to making errors.