First day in new job

Starting a new job brings a blend of excitement and trepidation.

You are still glowing from your success in the recruitment process. By contrast starting a new job somewhere else, working with people you don’t know and taking on tasks you’ve not done before can be daunting too.

Change job and you leave a lot behind. You knew the “unwritten rules” of the last organisation and the best people to talk to when you needed help. You had friends, not just colleagues, and you’d mastered the systems and processes that underpinned your job. All of a sudden that’s gone.

You have likely only spent a few hours with your new boss, and maybe some potential colleagues, in the recruitment process. You don’t really know them yet. It’s unlikely you know the full story of your new job either. There’s almost always bits you only discover after you join…

A HR Director once said to me “the first 100 days in any new job will define your success in the role”. I believe there’s a lot of truth to that. Getting off on the right foot is crucial to establishing your “personal brand” in a new organisation. By day 101, rightly or wrongly, people will have built an impression of you. From that point forward it will get harder and harder to change that opinion.

How coaching can help

In the last couple of years I’ve found myself doing more and more “on-boarding” coaching. Often with senior executives landing in potentially career defining roles. The stakes are high – they’ve often been recruited to deliver critical projects or drive significant change. Hence the spotlight will be on them from day one.

No two situations are the same – but there are often common themes. Themes which likely apply to roles at all levels.

Gain clarity of purpose.

What are you actually here to do? How will you be measured? Job descriptions only ever tell you so much. And they often tell you the broad scope but not the priorities. What is also frequently true is that the priorities differ between stakeholders. I’ve been there. My immediate boss telling me their version – and the HR Director being very explicit that isn’t the priority at all. Make sure you know who all the key stakeholders are. Getting them all on the same page is crucial.

Understand your key stakeholders as people

Not just the outputs they want from you. We all have different preferences in the way we work. The key to success is not believing everyone else has the same view of the world that yo do. You may love face-to-face meetings, your boss may not. Your preference may be big picture strategizing, your stakeholders may live in the “here and now”. You may crave plans and timetables, others may be more “spur of the moment”. Working out the basis on which key relationships will be formed is crucial. That applies up, down and across the organisation. You have to adapt yet remain true to yourself.

Been brought in to lead change?

Make sure you understand the pace the organisation is ready to move at. Your excitement to do things differently could scare others. How do you speed them up and yet manage your own frustrations that things aren’t moving quickly enough?

Let go of the past.

We all bring baggage with us from past jobs. That could be being wedded to specific ways of doing things. It could be distrust based on poor previous working relationships. Or it could be a tendency to being a workaholic. Starting a new job is a chance to shed the past and start afresh. I’ve coached executives who’ve used a fresh start to completely re-set work-life boundaries.

Want to know more?

Chiumento is undoubtedly best known for helping people leaving organisations. We help people thrive in a new job too. Give us a call if you are making a key hire and want to accelerate their on-boarding. We’d love to help.