The first few months in a new position can be crucial. Along with a coaching professional, Pure Resourcing Solutions have created this document to give advice on how to make a good first impression and ensure a smooth transition in to your new role and company life. In your early weeks, you should have three main aims:
- To perform well
- To build good relationships with your team & boss
- To create a good impression
Some people make the mistake of focusing solely on the work, thinking they will be judged by results. While this is true, just as important is the way you fit in with people and how quickly you can gain a grasp of how things work.
It might not be easy - the first few weeks in a new job can be quite traumatic. Your new organisation may not have the same approach or methods as the old one and may be very different from what you expected, especially if you are moving from a large organisation to a small entrepreneurial company or from public sector to private. By following the three steps stated below however, you will be able to understand what’s expected and how to get things done. Therefore establishing yourself quickly and effectively.
1. Get to know the way things work
During the first crucial days, learn by asking questions and observing how the system works. Gain a feel for the ways in which the culture is going to support your own vision by absorbing all you can about:
- Review the companies mission statements and corporate values
- Try to adopt some of these values in the way that you work
- Find out more about the business, what they sell and how they sell it, who are their competitors etc
- Whatever your role, you need to know the range and market position of products or services which will affect your organisation’s performance
- Understand the companies Hierarchy:
- How decisions are made and who makes them
- How problems are solved
- What the real power structure is
- Let your boss know how you’re feeling, talk to someone about how you’re getting on
- Talk to your consultant – we are not just hear to find you the job, keep in touch with us and if you’re worried call us for a chat!
- Think about how you communicate, make sure you are professional at all times
- Try to find a mentor or sponsor who can give you some of the ‘softer’ information, or use your • networking skills to cultivate useful contacts both inside and outside the organisation. Other people who have recently joined may provide useful insights.
- Learn the culture and the way of doing things
2. Understand your job and what’s expected of you:
Your job role:
The selection process will have given you an insight into what your responsibilities will be and your reporting structure. However, initial impressions from interviews are rarely fully accurate or complete. Early on - ideally within the first six weeks - you will need to clarify:
- Your precise responsibilities
- The expectations of your manager and any other senior staff you support
- The structure of your department and its place in the organisational hierarchy
- How your function or department is perceived within the organisation (is it held in high regard, and if not, why not?)
- Key internal customers and suppliers you need to establish effective working relationships with
Your performance measures and targets:
You are likely to operate in some kind of performance review system, where you are set or agree a series of objectives with your manager. It is important that you are given clear parameters and targets to channel your contribution effectively. If you are not given any specific targets in the initial period, you should agree with your manager:
- Your key job functions - the areas where you will make a significant contribution
- A series of measurable objectives that you review regularly (e.g. how you contribute to the overall • profitability and development of your department and the organisation as a whole)
- The measurement criteria for you and your department (so you can check that your performance targets are realistic and achievable)
If your organisation does not set objectives or targets, set yourself a series of similar goals to work towards and discuss them with your manager. They will also help you to monitor your own progress.
Investigate both technical training, which your employer is more likely to provide, and ‘softer’ training in communication and interpersonal skills. Think about drawing up a training plan that will address your needs and act as a framework for your personal development.
3. Establish key Personal relationships
Get to know your boss
Establishing an effective working relationship with your boss is one of your main priorities. Quickly pick up his or her working style and see how you can adapt yours to meet his or her needs and expectations.
Look back at the information you need to establish about your job.
Get to know your team
You will probably find your new team welcoming and supportive. However, if you are replacing someone they particularly liked, they may be suspicious and uncommunicative. Stay positive and allow time to get to know each other.
Your team will be seeking reassurance that you will not ‘rock the boat’ too much and yet have something to offer. Be outward looking and show an interest in what people do. Be seen as someone who looks beyond your own work. Avoid talking about your old job: colleagues will soon tire of constant comparisons or hearing how good or bad people were at the old place!
Get yourself known
Take steps to make yourself known beyond your department. Be willing to support others.
Consider the impression you make
As you get to understand the culture, think carefully about the kind of initial impact you want to make or the kind of impression you wish to create:
- Ask a member of your team or department to introduce you to other people in the business
- Is it important that you appear decisive early on? Or will it be more appropriate to spend time listening?
- What kinds of expectations do you want to create? Make sure you will be able to deliver them later on
If you would like any further advice in regards to making a good impression in a new role, please contact your consultant.