In my job of managing recruitment for Expedia brand in Europe, I deal with new starters on a weekly basis. Here is some advice for anyone stepping into a new role:
Find out more about your new company before you start. What are the company’s goals and mission, who are the key staff members?
Doing a bit of research before you start will be a confidence boost and it’ll shorten your learning curve.
A candidate who’s accepted a new job offer as a Software Development Engineer at Expedia last week has asked me to find out what technologies she should brush up on/learn about before starting. This shows initiative and it’s impressed the hiring manager.
Make sure you are clear on expectations. This is very important, especially if you haven’t seen a full job description (If you don’t already have one, ask for it!)
You need to know your key priorities and under-stand how your performance will be measured. The first few weeks in a new role is also a great time to ask questions. So make sure you ask them now, not 6 months later when people will expect you to know things.
Be aware of your appearance and attitude, as this is what people will notice first. Check what the company’s dress code is, and above all, make sure you are polite, courteous and a good listener.
Find out how your boss likes to communicate. Is it email, memos, face-to-face meetings?
Take time to get to know people. As a ‘newbie’ you have no preconceived notions or ideas. So allow time to get to know everyone. Make up your own mind instead of listening to the ‘this is what they are like’ stories from other people.
Be late. Especially in the beginning as you don’t want the employer to lose confidence in you before you start.
Keep saying how you used to do things in your last job. Just because things were done a certain way in your last job doesn’t mean it is the right or only way. The mistake I’ve seen even senior leaders make is trying to impose ideas/ solutions without learning enough about the problems first. If you are open to learning, you might actually see the benefits of trying out the ways in which your new company operates.
Criticize your new or former employers or colleagues. I recently had someone rejected after an initial phone interview as they kept criticizing their current employer. This will not win you any new best friends.
Get ahead of yourself. It is good to be ambitious, but if you are employed in a junior role, you should not be striving to become the VP within the first month. Ask questions and learn in the first few weeks; only offer your suggestions at suitable times or when prompted.
I remember when I started to work for a new client a few years ago. A consultant who joined our team had lots of suggestions regarding what to change on his first day, but he hadn’t even bothered to talk to the team to find out more about how they operate, what the challenges and opportunities were. Needless to say, he alienated everyone and did not last in the job for long.
Starting a new job can be daunting, but your Manager and colleagues will understand that it takes a while to settle into the new job role, and some people adapt faster than others.
Be you, be calm, listen, be open, be aware of all new experiences, take time to learn. Before you know it, you’ll feel confident and part of the team and you’ll be set up for a successful career in your new organization.