first of all, I think you may want to work on a different mindset. You don’t want to “survive” the probation period. You want to thrive and help your boss, your colleagues and the company in general to thrive as well. It doesn’t mean you should have an arrogant behavior. Rather, you develop the confidence you can provide value, even if at the beginning you will have to learn several new things.
I understand it is a challenging mindset considering you did not pass your previous probation, but I am sure that you can switch to it if you want and work accordingly. Few books that can help you with that are the following:
- The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
- Cultivate an Unshakable Character – Jim Rohn
- The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz
In terms of practical advice, I would recommend the following:
- Take notes when your manager tells you something – this will help you to remember details and will show you care about them to the team.
- Always double-check. The first impression is very important in consulting: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you create a reputation of a reliable person. Double checks should be done on expectations for your job, your Excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
- Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. The majority of the results usually come from a subset of activities – this is true also for your tasks in consulting. You have to identify which they are and prioritize them – the application of the so-called 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle. Alignment on priorities and expectations is particularly important with your manager at the beginning of the project.
- Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. Consulting is a people business and you should build a good network both within and outside the company. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term
- Organize your private life activities. You want to organize your calendar to leave some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). This is not easy but can be managed if you organize well, and long-term will be critical to keep a balance between work and private life. Also, it is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs, so that there are no surprises later on.
- Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
- Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline then missing the deadline.
- Be social and respectful with the support staff – these people are great and influential as well in the company.