Starting a new job can be an exciting and challenging time, an experience that most of us have been through at one time or another. A new job means new relationships, new processes and most likely, different expectations than what you’re used to, so finding your feet can take some time. However, the first few weeks often make or break an experience with your employer, so obviously, you’ll want to make a great impression. If you find yourself in this position, take a look at our advice to making your mark and settling in to a new role.
Make the Handover Count
If you’re lucky enough to have a handover period with a departing employee, be sure to make the most of your time with them. As you would expect, they can help build an understanding of not just the role itself, but company processes and cultural aspects as well. Although, bear in mind that they are leaving, so their experience could be quite different to yours. With that said, it’s important to keep an open mind and form personal judgements too.
With information often coming from all angles, especially in those first few weeks, it can be easy to feel overloaded. Although it might sound obvious, our advice here is to keep your workflow as organised as possible. There are some fantastic task management apps (such as Todoist and Wunderlist) that make it easier to keep track of everything on your plate. It’s also worth putting together a monthly plan, with key dates outlined in your calendar, to keep you focused on events and information that could otherwise be forgotten.
Establish Key Business Relationships
It is likely that building relationships with key individuals (both inside and outside the team) is going to be a critical aspect of your role. The early days are key to forming strong relationships with colleagues, so put yourself out there!
Take every opportunity to introduce yourself and ask people about their roles and how it might fit in with yours. It’s also an opportunity to pick up on different working styles and understand how to adapt your approach to meet their needs. Can you be assigned a mentor as part of the on-boarding process? This person can really help introduce you to key people within the organisation and ensure you settle in quickly.
Who are the key stakeholders in the company? You’ll want to make an effort to meet them, but don’t forget the PAs and EAs – good working relationships with the gatekeepers can often be very useful!
Try to attend any company social events. These can be a great way to get to know people away from the pressures of the work place, where people tend to loosen up. Even if it’s just a drink after work on a Friday, or a lunchtime coffee in a café, it’s a good opportunity to build rapport.
Build Rapport with Your New Manager
You might have worked really well with a previous manager, but it is important to let go and move forward. Building rapport with your new boss won’t always happen instantly but we recommend that you put the effort to get to know how they work in those first weeks.
They will have different priorities and probably a new way of operating too. Take some time to understand their communication style. Is their preference email communications? Face to face meetings? Also, it’s a good idea to figure out how they like to manage. Do they have a hands-off approach to management or do they require more regular updates?
Whatever the answer, it’s important to begin working to these new expectations and start building rapport. Regular meetings are a great way to make sure you’re on the right track and all expectations are being met.
Absorb Yourself Into the Culture
Whilst culture would likely have been one of the initial attractions, once working there, you need to understand the new working environment and integrate yourself.
Use the first few weeks to immerse yourself in the culture and absorb what goes on. For example, how are key decisions made? How do people communicate with one another? Is communication formal or informal? It might be very different to what you’re used to, but it helps to understand how people engage with each other both internally and externally.
As someone with a fresh perspective, you might also develop ideas on how to improve things culture-wise, but make sure you’ve absorbed everything before putting forward any recommendations or it could give off the wrong impression.
Settling into a new job takes time, but ultimately being new isn’t permanent. As a final point, ask lots of questions – after all, you’re not expected to know everything from the get-go, so make the most of this time! Be patient, be yourself and learn as much as possible in the beginning and before you know it, everything will be second nature.
If you’re looking for more advice, or help in finding the perfect role for you, get in touch with us.