Congratulations! You’ve landed your dream new job, but now what?
Before you dive into your new role there are some simple but effective techniques to help your maximise your chances of success and avoid the potential banana skins.
Before You Start
In your mind at least, the day you start your new role should be the day you win the job, not the day you physically start. This pre-joining period is valuable time to think, plan and prepare for the first few months in your new job. You should start thinking about what you need to do in your new position and create a written plan. Begin by writing down your answers to the following questions:
- Is my non-work life is in order, so that I can fully focus on the new job from day one?
- What do I need to know and how can I address the gaps in my knowledge and skills?
- How can I make sure I am fully rested and recharged for the challenge ahead?
On Day One
This is your chance to make a positive impact with your new boss and colleagues right from the get-go. I suggest you ‘walk the floor’ and greet everyone with a warm handshake, a smile and a follow up email. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
There is a lot to absorb at the start, so take with you a good quality notepad and begin jotting down your thoughts and observations immediately. This proved invaluable for me when I changed roles in the past and many of clients say the same.
In my experience, very few people know exactly what is expected of them and how they will be measured. Day one in the new job is your opportunity to meet with your new boss to nail down targets, KPI’s and measurable to make sure you won’t get caught out at your first annual performance review!
During Week One
Begin the process of identifying what you need to learn as soon as possible. Cross check your knowledge, skills and experience against your role profile and competencies. There is a risk of mental indigestion and burn out if you try to learn too much in one go, so break it down into bite-size chunks and record your progress in your plan.
As the ‘newbie’ you have a limited window to ask innocent questions to help you assess the landscape:
- What’s working well around here?
- What tips can you give me to make my new role a success?
- How can we work well together?
- If there was one thing we should change, what would that be?
During the week I suggest you identify the key influencers are in your new world. This might not necessarily be your boss! Most importantly, don’t rush to make changes or be ‘buffaloed’ by others until you are ready.
By now you should have a good grasp of what needs to be done, the areas of concern and key milestones and deliverables expected by your boss or stakeholders.
Now is the time to pull out your trump card……communicating your pre-prepared vision of the future. Here begins the process of getting buy-in from colleagues and your team. Some good examples I have come across are…..”From this point on we are playing to win” and “We will be the automatic choice in our market” and “Our goal is to be world class at what we do”. Whatever you feel is right for you keep repeating your vision at every opportunity.
By this stage you are likely to be battling against email and information overload! Never the less you must have the self-discipline to allocate a chunk of time for review and reflect on your plan:
- What’s going well?
- What should I do differently?
- What are the likely challenges ahead?
Then create your plan for month two and beyond.
Someone once said to me “If you want to know the road ahead, ask the people coming back.” These tips are what I have learned and I hope you can apply them. I wish you all the best in your new role.