Regardless of how long you’ve been working in an industry or how excellent you are at your job, there will always be a few differences encountered when you start a new role: The people are unknown, the culture will likely be somewhat alien and your new routine will take some getting used to.
Below we have highlighted a number of important considerations for your first 100 days that will help you seamlessly transition into your new job and settle in with your new employer.
Get to know the business and its people
It is crucial that you spend a substantial amount of time familiarising yourself with the ‘feel’ of your new employer, the culture and the people. Ask to attend as many relevant meetings as possible and make contact with lots of people around the business, beyond just your immediate team and those sitting near you.
This time at the start of your new job is priceless as you are a blank slate and it is your opportunity to shape peoples’ views of you.
If you are too invested in making yourself ‘useful’ the moment you walk through the door, you will miss the chance to pick up invaluable pieces of information that can come from simple surveillance. Note these down for the first few months; your initial, uninfluenced thoughts will be the sharpest and most insightful observations which could definitely be useful a few months down the line!
Forge relationships with the right individuals
It may seem a bit shrewd, but establish who the most beneficial people are that you need to strike up a strong relationship with as early as possible. The relationships you need to establish won’t necessarily map out easily and it would pay to do some swift thinking about who has widespread power across the business. This doesn’t mean you must focus solely on these individuals, but it’s important to gain a strong and in-depth understanding of office dynamics.
Whether you are a junior professional just starting your career or you’re further up the ladder having secured a leadership role, it would be hugely beneficial to elicit the help of someone who has been with the employer for some time. A coach within the business will guide you on how to navigate issues and advise on how best to deal with certain individuals.
Advisers will advise and mentors will tell you what they would have done, but a good coach will consider your personality and position before suggesting actions.
If you are fulfilling a more senior or manager level role, everyone in your extended team will be looking at you not just as a functional leader, but as a human being as well. As a general rule, try and set aside 40% of your day to regularly engage with them - ask them what does and doesn’t work in the organisation, what they think needs to change and what doesn’t.
Find out what motivates the people that work for you and what inspires the people you work for. If you take heed of their answers and action any suggestions, you will paint a great picture of yourself and keep them highly engaged - which is hugely important!
Top Tip: Many organisations will give you lots of mandatory training which can consume most of that irretrievable first week. After receiving an offer, ask if your new employer will let you do some of this remotely before your first day.
Establish where best to focus your attention
The ‘3 rocks’ approach is an effective way to identify where you should focus your attention...
These rocks should be important projects or goals where 60% of your efforts are channelled as opposed to focusing on the ‘sand’ surrounding the rocks - the small, everyday tasks you do to deliver the day job. The rocks should be highly visible actions that will deliver a big impact on the business. People don’t remember the sand, but they take notice of the rocks!
Start thinking about what you want to be known for by the time you have been within the organisation for one year. Identify where you can make the biggest difference and keep that goal in mind - having a primary goal to focus on and work towards is an excellent way of channeling your efforts.
Make the most of the early days in your new job
You may seem isolated, but just like on your first day at school, everyone will have been in the same boat at some point. Reach out to as many people as possible and let your personality shine. After all, you will be spending a lot of time speaking to your colleagues - it makes an enormous amount of difference if you get on well with them.
This is an exciting new step in your career, so make the most of those precious first few months!