Starting a new job in a new organisation can generate a mix of excitement and trepidation. You will encounter new challenges, new colleagues, new environment, the list goes on. But hey, that is usually why you are making a change, to get new experiences and opportunities. But going hand in hand with stepping out of your comfort zone is a desire to prove yourself to management and your new colleagues that you fit. No doubt you will be motivated by a desire to be accepted and the recognition from others that you can deliver.
It’s a natural desire to want to settle into the role as quickly as possible. You will want to remove any anxiety and prove to yourself and others that this is a good career move.
So what can you do to ensure success and a fast start? Here are some essential first steps you should take
Typically, your role is defined by the role description that was provided and discussed throughout the interview process. What you are expected to accomplish is clearly stated, but in our experience, it’s not uncommon for specific performance outcomes to be overlooked. If your job attracts a bonus, what are the KPIs against which you will be measured to be able to achieve that bonus? It should be one of your top priorities to agree bonus KPIs with your manager. Do that as soon as you can so you have a clear sense of direction.
Start the process of getting to know your team and immediate colleagues, don’t leave it to them, take the initiative and go out of your way to build rapport and understand what “makes them tick”.
Identify who are your key stakeholders and influencers in the organisation and commence the process of dialogue. Get to know their personality style and how best to interact. Plus, these are people who are more likely to open up after you start and share inside information. That way you can find out if there are any “skeletons in the closet” you need to look out for.
Every organisation will have its negatives and unique characteristics. Be realistic with your expectations as you encounter them. It shouldn’t necessarily mean that you become demotivated and disappointed.
Regardless of your position (whether entry position or head of department), make sure to do lots of listening and observing of “how things are done around here”. Don’t try to sound like a “know it all” in your first week!
Be flexible and ready for action. Adjust your mindset to welcome the changes and uncertainty and adapt to fit into the environment.
Welcome feedback and don’t be defensive!
Take Home Message:
Ultimately, everyone is a professional. Focus on what you need to do and stay on track. Establish a goal and a way of execution. What differentiates a star player from a regular is what you do beyond the expected. Dig deep into your abilities and utilize your experiences to go beyond the expectations of yourself and others.