in reply to
The New Job
A lot of great advice here.
I'll just add one that was very applicable in my current position:
- find a Perl project that's in your department's main mission that isn't being handled well at all, and handle it
In my case, it was graphic visualizations of test data. GD.pm and its siblings made short work of it, but the whole department now seems to shine in management's eyes because of that simple nail-hammering.