“The first three months of any job are an extension of the interview process” said Amanda Augustine, Career Advice Expert at TalentInc. One therefore needs to hit the ground running from day 1.
At Progressive Recruitment, we understand that the first three months in a new job are crucial. As a new starter, you only get one chance at making a great first impression – which will in turn determine your career trajectory with the organisation. In those three months you will have to perform and validate the reasons why you have been hired – all whilst settling into a new team and gaining the trust of your colleagues. This can be quite an exciting yet challenging experience.
To help you transition smoothly into your new workplace and set you up for success, we have prepared the following 6 tips below:
1. Learn the communicative patterns of your colleagues
Every office has their own set of norms that may not have been officially mentioned in the contract that you signed prior to your start date. For example, whilst your contract may stipulate that normal business hours are between 9am and 6pm, office culture may dictate otherwise, and business hours are instead from 8am to 5pm. Our advice to you is to observe the daily pace of the workplace in your first week and identify what the corporate culture is like.
Be attentive to your team’s communication style and you will be able to gain valuable insights about the company culture thereby adjusting your working style accordingly. We will also suggest that you find out the preferred methods of communication of your team, i.e. face-to-face, phone calls, instant messaging or emails so you can be sure that you are not interrupting any meetings or invading your colleagues’ private space.
2. Take the initiative to introduce yourself
Put it simply, if you are joining a fast-paced culture, most people would likely be busy at their desks and may not realise that you have just started with the company. However, by doing the rounds and introducing yourself, people will know who you are and learn what you have been hired to achieve. Be enthusiastic when introducing yourself and do your best to remember their names. Make sure to give a brief summary of your background such as your past experiences and skills. In doing so, your colleagues will be able to catch a glimpse of how your skills and experience may add value. Likewise, from the conversations you will have with your colleagues, you will be able to understand their roles and priorities and identify areas where you can start contributing to the organisation. Participating in social events such as Friday drinks can also help break the ice and make the introductory process much easier.
3. Define the meaning of success and set expectations
We will recommend that you arrange a meeting with your manager in your first week and discuss what they expect you to achieve in order to be considered successful in your role. By setting mutual expectations, you will have the insights about what your manager values and therefore be able to prioritise your work accordingly. By clarifying what is expected of you, you will understand the role you play in the business strategy and be able to identify how to make a bigger contribution to the organisation. If you are in a managerial role, it is also important to set the tone earlier on with your team so there are no misunderstandings. You also want to seek advice from Human Resources (HR) to understand how your performance will be assessed so you can plan ahead.
4. Be grateful and show that you are part of the team
It is important that you communicate and demonstrate that you are eager to be part of the team. For example, use the term "we" rather than "I" in team meetings and do not hesitate to share credit with your colleagues when it is due. Likewise, do not hesitate to lend a hand to a teammate who could be pressed for time on a project. Another advice will be to take time to thank people who help you on a daily basis such as the admin staff, mailroom workers, maintenance people and the receptionist. Take the time to thank the people who are showing you the ropes as they definitely help in making you integrate better in your new workplace.
5. Learn how to navigate around office politics
It is always beneficial to be on good terms with someone who has been at the company for an extended period of time as they would be able to give you a clear indication about what works and what does not. This also essentially teaches you how to navigate around office politics. While you are in the process of adapting in your new workplace, it is important to avoid creating conflict with your co-workers and participating in office politics. Stay on neutral ground rather than having a subjective view. Controversial topics such as religion, politics, salary and criticising your boss are to be avoided at all costs.
6. Create value for the company
You have most likely been hired because the management team has identified room for improvement in the business or perhaps a placement role and therefore appointed you to bring in added value to the firm. As such, make sure that you deliver on the promises mentioned in the interview. In your first week, your goal should be to understand the company better and absorb as much information as you can. From your second week onwards, focus on adding value and be proactive in making the life of your manager easier. Think about your interview with the firm and if there was any specific business issue that your manager wanted to resolve. You may even want to write a short proposal and hand this to your manager to demonstrate your hard-working ethic and proactive attitude.
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Know the management team and how various departments interact with each other;
- Be aware of your competitors’ strategies and the trends affecting the industry the business is in;
- Never draw comparisons with your previous work when talking to your new colleagues. This is likely to have an adverse effect on your new peers;
- If you are unsure about something, simply ask rather than lie about it. Likewise, acknowledge your mistakes rather than covering them up; and
- Dress for the job you want to have, not the one you already have. In other words, dress appropriately and professionally.
Good luck on your next role
If you feel overwhelmed about your new role, remind yourself that you have been selected amongst many candidates as the best person for the job. Normalise the new and soon enough, you will feel comfortable in your new job.
At Progressive Recruitment, we always ensure that our candidates are in good hands through our Contract Blueprint Program. If you are a candidate looking for your next opportunity within the technology space, do not hesitate to contact me on 0424 135 452 for a confidential discussion. You can visit our Linkedin page to find out about what we do.