It's the night before you start your new job. You’re feeling excited about your new role and probably anxious about how to make a good impression from the start. You’re wondering how you'll settle in and hit the ground running. Well, you can give yourself a head start by preparing well in advance.
When my clients secure their new roles, I find out what works best for them when they settle in. I’ve found that there are a number of things that the successful ones do that help to pave the way to a smooth on-boarding process.
8 suggestions to ensure on-boarding success:
1. On-boarding success begins before the first day.
Once you’ve accepted the role, contact the hiring manager and your human resources contact. Let them know you are looking forward to getting on board and convey your enthusiasm for the new role.
2. Connect on LinkedIn with those you’ve met during the selection process.
Make sure your profile is as strong as it can be as others within your team will probably check out your profile before you turn up on your first day.
3. Create a 30, 60, and 90-day plan with your new manager.
This will give you a map to follow during your initiation into the company and the expectations of your role. Having measurable benchmarks developed with the organisation’s business goals in mind will help you greatly with clear direction. Ensure you understand how your success will be measured so you will know where to focus your attention initially and in the longer term.
4. Identify the resources you need to do your job early on.
This will be anything from office supplies, phone and mobile connection to the technology required to get things done. Get to know the administration and technical support team as you will need them! There are always individuals within any company who can help you get things done because of their workplace knowledge or their relationships with key people within the organisation. Find out who those people are and develop a relationship with them as they will be the people who can help when you are stuck.
5. Look for ways to make a difference even in the early days.
Of course it’s important to develop good working relationships very early on; however, while you are doing so, see where you can pick the low hanging fruit and get some wins on the board. After the first 30 days it will be time to demonstrate the value that you bring.
6. Always show respect for the people and events that have come before you.
It’s wise to ask questions that show appreciation for current employees and respect for those who came before you. Be very tactful, especially in the early days, even if you believe you completely understand the political landscape of the organisation. You won’t really know who’s who in the zoo until you’ve been there a while.
7. Check in with your manager every week or two to make sure you are on track.
As you learn more from your stakeholders you will be able to manage expectations. Always be willing to ask for your manager’s help if you need it.
8. Stay positive.
There will be good days, better days and some days when you may feel a little disappointed. The first couple of weeks will see you transitioning from excitement about the new role to the reality of the day-to-day routine and challenges. Displaying energy and enthusiasm for the role will benefit your reputation amongst your colleagues.
A new role can be quite stressful, so give yourself time to settle in and know that no one is perfect. Make the effort to understand the way things work and always be willing to ask questions and listen to the answers.
Whether you’re changing roles within an organisation or joining a new one, you will need to learn new skills for success.
As Professor Sattar Bawany, CEO and Master Executive Coach, Centre for Executive Education says, “Executives in a new role confront the need to adapt to new business models and organisational cultures, and to build supportive networks. The biggest trap they may fall into is to believe they will continue to be successful by doing what has made them successful in the past.
“There is an old saying: ‘To a person who has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’ New leaders must focus first on discovering what it will take to be successful in the new role, then discipline themselves to do the things that don’t come naturally if the situation demands it.”
However don’t let this overwhelm you – look forward to your first 90 days confident in the knowledge that you will settle in comfortably once you know how things work in your new environment while keeping an open, flexible and positive attitude. I wish you much success and a fabulous new career ahead!
I cover this process in my book, Navigating Career Crossroads where you will find out about the 7 essential steps to make a successful career transition.
Or, let me guide you through the entire career transition process with my online training. The 7 Steps CAREERS Program is a very affordable option for careers support. From building your self confidence to assessing what really makes you tick through to creating all your job search marketing materials, managing your professional brand, interviewing and negotiation through to on-boarding into your new role, the 7 Steps Program guides you every step of the way! Check it out here: www.janejacksoncoach.com/7steps
Believe in yourself and create magic!
Jane Jackson is a career management coach, podcaster, speaker and author of #1 Amazon Australia (Careers) bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads: How To Thrive When Changing Direction (The OMNE Group 2014).
Jane coaches executives globally to discover their true passion and direction and guides them to create satisfying and rewarding careers. She is on a mission to make careers guidance accessible to all and is loving the journey.
Jane’s work features in The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Women’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan Middle East, CareerOne, Women’s Fitness Magazine and numerous other print and online publications.
Visit janejacksoncoach.com for more career tips and free career resource downloads.