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Your First Customer Success Job: Navigating Challenges And Achieving Success

Updated: Mar 3

Woohoo, you landed your first customer success (CS) job! It's an exciting time for sure, but it can also feel overwhelming. The truth is, your first CS job is going to be hard. That's expected.

So what can you do to overcome common challenges? In this blog post, we'll break down these hurdles and give you actionable steps to help you thrive in your new role, So buckle up and get ready to embark on your CS journey with confidence and grace!

Embrace the Learning Curve In Your First Customer Success Job

When you begin your CS job, you'll be exposed to so much new information–all at the same time.

You're likely still learning about what customer success is. And now, you'll need to start learning a new product, the customer base, company politics, and the processes they have in place, there's a lot to absorb.

To navigate this effectively, consider the following steps:

- Create a Personalized Onboarding Plan: Develop a 30/60/90-day plan or ask your team lead to help you build one. This structured roadmap will help you set realistic expectations, prioritize your learning, and guide you through a successful onboarding process. If you're looking for a good 30/60/90, Erika Villarreal created a fantastic resource you can use.

- Find Mentorship and Guidance: Reach out to experienced peers or the wider CS community who can serve as mentors. They can provide valuable insights, share best practices, and support you in your journey toward your career growth in CS. Catalyst hosts a Coaching Program often.

Banish Self-Doubt and Embrace Growth

Self-doubt often creeps in when mistakes happen, we start comparing ourselves, or knowledge gaps become clear. Remember, this is a normal part of the learning process.

I'm brand new to this gif

Here's how you can overcome self-doubt and drive personal growth:

- Practice Self-Compassion: Give yourself permission to learn and make mistakes. Remind yourself that you are on a journey of continuous improvement. Whenever self-doubt starts coming up, make space for grace and acknowledge the progress you've made so far. I love using a journal called Best Self because it forces me to reflect on my progress and outline what I'm grateful for.

- Focus on Personal Development: Find specific areas where you feel your skills may be lacking and create a list of skill gaps. If you have a personal development budget, GREAT! Use it by investing in relevant courses, workshops, or resources that can help you bridge those gaps (more on this below).

Leverage the Power of Identifying Your Skills Gap

Recognizing areas for improvement is such an important part of your professional growth. However, as humans, we tend to harp on the negative and downplay the positives. It's important to approach this process positively and constructively. These steps will help you make the most of identifying your skills gap:

- Assess and List Skill Gaps: Reflect on your CS role and identify specific skills or knowledge areas where you feel you could benefit from improvement. For me, it was discovery, so I found a handful of podcasts, read a few resources, and asked my leader for help in this area. Write down your skills gaps to gain clarity and focus.

- Invest in Personal Development: This point is coming up again; it must be important. Use the resources available to you Explore online courses, industry events, books, podcasts, or webinars that can up-level your skills. Be intentional in allocating your time and personal development budget to maximize the impact.


Starting your CS journey might feel like venturing into uncharted waters, and that's okay.

With the right mindset and a set of effective strategies, you can fearlessly conquer any challenges that cross your path. Remember, you're never alone on this journey. Find your community, lean on your peers, and boldly ask for help when you need it.

If you crave personalized guidance and unwavering support, I've got your back! As a Customer Success Career Coach, I can help you navigate these murky waters so you can thrive in your career. If you're interested, check out how we can help and get in contact with us.


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