- Assess the business case for your hire.
Just started a new job? You were hired for a reason. Is it to generate ideas? To train others? To add design or technical skills that were lacking? To deftly oversee client projects? Learning where you fit within the overall business strategy is something that may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Figure this out early. Show your work.
- Who are you?
After a rigorous interview process, it can feel like you described your skills and experiences ad nauseum, so now that you’re hired you can get work. The thing is, when beginning a new job, most people in the company don’t know who you are, why you were hired, or what specifically you bring to the table. Make sure your team knows your resume and has viewed your portfolio. It gives people around yourself context, a view into your style, and an idea of how you complement or challenge them.
- Learn communication patterns.
Cracking the code of company culture often comes down to simply learning how people communicate with one another. Does your boss expect you to keep her informed on the details, or come to her with only the big problems? Does your team need constant validation or complete autonomy? It is not only a matter of imposing your own communication preferences on the organisation, but assimilating into the patterns that already exist.
- Establish expectations with your boss.
According to Watkins, one of the keys to success in a new role is to secure early wins: “Early wins excite and energise people, build your credibility, and quickly create value for your organisation.” But it is important to define what a win is in your boss’s eyes. What does she expect you to learn and accomplish? How quickly does she expect to see results? The more clarity you build around these issues, the easier your transition will be.
- Don’t try to do too much.
You may feel the need to validate yourself by proving your creative genius. Instead in a new job, feel confident that you’re there, and at least initially, listen carefully rather than talk. Find ways to highlight the strengths of others. As for your own genius, there will be plenty of time for that.
- Find your place.
Navigating the transition period in a new job can feel a bit like juggling swords. But if you take the time to find your place in the organisation and focus on new relationships, you’ll be off to a great start.
- Set expectations with your boss and employees.
“Get on your boss’s calendar,” Augustine says. Use that initial meeting to establish what they believe success will look like in the first week, month, and three months. At the same time, if you’re in a managerial position, it’s important to begin setting expectations with your direct reports. From communication style to office hours, that first week sets the tone.
- Analyse the makeup of your new team.
Pay attention to the subtle cues you receive from those in your group. Chances are, there may be one or more people who were vying for your role — so watch your back, Augustine warns. Look for opportunities to befriend and leverage the talents of your new colleagues to avoid any resentment from building up.
- Lead with results.
Your head needs to exist in the world of results. Your life at work revolves around satisfying whoever it is that stands as your boss, be it your client, your supervisor, or someone else. Rather than taking a by-the-book approach to management, look for ways to accommodate your teams’ talents and skill sets so that they’re inspired to put forth their best effort every time. A good manager has the potential to increase an employee’s commitment to their job by 34% and one of the most effective ways of doing this is by allowing your employees’ unique brilliance to shine through. Does the team accountant do her best from home? If possible, let her. Does the administrative assistant have a talent for graphic design that would be useful to a particular project? Let him make magic in your corner office while you cover his phone shift and keep the coffee pot brewing. Sure, you graduated from assistant positions years ago, but acknowledging that the team’s success is more important than your ego is a powerful and energising way to lead by example and get the best results.
- Focus on business development.
The fastest way to becoming invaluable to a company is by identifying and dedicating time to business development opportunities—even if your job has nothing to do with it. Every organisation has a bottom line, and if you’re bringing in new opportunities, you will always be adding to, not depleting, the company’s resources. Keep your business radar receptive to the opportunities that exist in your daily life, and watch how you translate a long line at Starbucks SBUX +1.18% into a business opportunity with the person in front of you. At all times, and be sure to let your boss know if you’re going on lunch dates that could lead to new accounts or partnerships. If you can bring in meetings and think strategically about networking and creating opportunities for your company, you are the head honcho in no time.
I hope this helps you in the next chapter of your career. If you are looking for a new job, call us on 0121 285 5529 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapman Tate Associates
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