You’ve gone through the interview process. You’ve probably had a celebration with your friends and family. Now you are about to embark on a new career move. Here are some top tips to ensuring your first few months are as smooth as possible and you make the right first impression.
1. Maximise the handover
If you are lucky enough to have a handover period with a predecessor – make the most of it. Ask them about cultural aspects, as well as company processes. What is the etiquette around employee birthdays? What social events are on offer? However, it’s advisable to keep an open mind and avoid taking on board any opinions from those leaving the business. Form your own judgements.
2. Key stakeholders
Most workers have to create coalitions with key individuals within their company. Map out who your stakeholders and introduce yourself early on to start building a rapport. Don’t forget the gatekeepers to those stakeholders. Sometimes a great relationship with an Executive Assistant or PA can work wonders!
3. Establish expectations
Clarify expectations early on. What are the short-term expectations or long term? When will your performance be measured during an appraisal? If it is not offered at the outset, you should ask for a regular catch up for the first few months into your role. If your manager is open to continuing that frequency in the longer term, that is fantastic.
4. Identify the quick wins
Job specifications don’t often match reality. Look beyond the role responsibilities and identify the urgent and longer-term priorities. Assess where you can create value and improve results quickly. This helps you to build credibility early on and shows that you are focused on results. It also reassures the individual who hired you that they made the right choice.
5. Ask questions early on
There is a grace period for any new employee where you can get away with asking lots of questions. Make the most of this time and ask sensible questions. It could be about people, processes or the market. Some good questions you could use as a starting point:
- If you were me, what would you focus your attention on?
- How are goals set/measured?
- What is the stated vision and strategy of the company?
- What challenges will the business face this year? What can be done to prepare for them?
Once you have made the right first impression, all that is left is for you to deliver against those high expectations. Good luck!
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