Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Dear Coach Joan,
Finally, after a seven month long job search I’ll be starting my new position next week! I never thought it would take this long to find a new job, so I am especially concerned about starting off well, and making this position a very rewarding one. The last job I had was at a company where I worked for over 10 years so it’s been a long time since I’ve been a new employee.
Kindly share any strategies and ideas on making my job launch as positive as can be.
First of all, congratulations on your new job! Isn’t it funny that when things are difficult to attain they seem more valuable, and one wants to ensure success. It sounds like you are taking this new job launch very seriously and want to intentionally do it RIGHT. Good for you!
Let’s look into several key best practices for successfully starting a new job:
- Your company. Become an expert (as much as you can). I’m sure you did a pretty good job of researching the company, its products and services, key markets, competitors and challenges, in anticipation of your interviews. Even if you did a thorough job, now that it is YOUR company, my suggestion is that you review your notes and do additional research. Get to know the company and culture by doing a thorough read-through of their web site and look at what others say about them on sites like Glassdoor.com. Additionally, do a Google search to see what’s been written about them lately in the press, and look for current information, too that you might be expected to know. The more you know about the company, the better prepared you will be for any role that you assume, and even for informal discussions with your new colleagues. It will also boost your confidence to learn as much as you can about your new employer.
- Your manager. Set up deliberate channels of communication. I’m sure you met with your hiring manager at least once or twice during the interview process, but take the time to review the impressions you had of him or her and impressions you received when you may have met with other direct reports. Next, as soon as you get aboard, ask your manager if you can have a 30 minute conversation to get acquainted. Come to that meeting with an agenda. Offer your manager a copy of that agenda which includes:
- How often would you like to meet?
- How often and when would you like status reports?
- What is the best way to communicate with you; email, phone, text or drop in? And does that vary by topic and urgency?
- What are the key things stylistically that work well for you as a manager?
- What are the key objectives you’ll be measuring me by?
- Do you have examples of employees who do really well with you and can you describe the behaviors and styles that work best?
- Also, ask your manager for the best way for you to get up to speed on your job knowledge, company culture and best ways to get to know others in your department and organization.
- Sharing about YOU. Do some self assessment and share with your new manager what managerial styles and behaviors bring out the best in you. Let her/him know if you are aware of your Meyers Briggs style –a way to determine your social style at work and a system used by many organizations to help individuals know themselves and work better with others. Remind your manager of your key skills and capabilities, and review the scope of your position to make sure any discrepancies are cleared up.
- Enthusiasm and Positivity. Remind yourself and remind your manager of all the reasons you are attracted to the company and to working for him/her. Remind him/her all the reasons it’s a good fit. Enthusiasm and a positive attitude go far in creating a great opportunity for a positive impression and the successful launch that you, your manager and your company would like to see!
Best of luck to you, Cheryl, and onward to a terrific new job launch.