NEW GIG? Do This...
Nice work on getting the new job! I know how hard it is to go through that process. I've done it a few times myself, and one thing I have learned is you really don't want to waste all that effort and the joy of being selected by not having a plan to get up to speed quickly in your new role.
I have some experience bringing new hires on board, and I have found that no matter how confident they appear in the interview process, transitioning to the new role ALWAYS throws them. From a coaching perspective, I love to see the deer in the headlight look. It means that the new employee has reached for this role and is uncomfortable because they really don't know HOW they are going to succeed, not because they don't feel confident that they can do the job…they just don't yet know what formula will work for them. They are in a new culture, dropped into the deep end of the pool. What matters now is that they swim...because what else are they going to do?
Here are a few things I do to get moving as quickly as possible, while keeping a smiling face.
News flash: No organization has processes that work seamlessly. There are never enough resources. There are things that won't make sense…ever. And there will be things you don't like, and won't want to do.
Knowing this isn't enough. You need to accept it. So what if things aren't perfect…or even WORKING? You have been hired to merge with the team, and find a way to succeed anyway. Every problem is simply an opportunity to come up with a solution. This means DON'T COMPLAIN about the warts. Understand them…experience them, and if there is a better way around them…point it out and solve it. Complaining without solving is just more noise.
Care about the Role
You can't be invested in success if you don't believe in what you are doing. This is why it's important to choose THE role you want, vs taking A role offered to you. The distinction is important, because what you need to do requires full commitment. It's a lot easier to commit when your desire compels you to perform. It will make you want to work smarter, not harder. It will make you look at broken processes and suggest new ways around them. It keeps you from getting frustrated. This is important.
Do The Onboarding Tasks
Whatever training or actions that you are required to do…do them quickly. Don't try to start to understand the business if you don't yet know how to navigate the basic systems. Do all of it…on a set schedule so that you can put 100% of your focus on it in solitude, in manageable chunks of time. It is hard to do ANYTHING for 2 hours straight, but make sure you put the time in when you have the energy to do it…and once you start the schedule, stick to the schedule until it's done.
Meet Your Team and Extended Team
Introduce yourself. You don't have to come in with a speech. Just say hello, tell them what you are supposed to do, let them know you are here to HELP and that all you are trying to do is understand the business, and figure out a way to add value. Spend most of the time listening to them. Talk to everyone. Ask to be invited to meetings…especially with counterparts and leaders. These folks are your team, and you will learn how they do THEIR job, which may or may not be how you do YOUR job. Observe…take notes and be curious. It doesn't matter how little you know right now…what matters is how things look from your point of view.
Visit Partners or Customers/Clients
This never ends. Be visible. Ask questions and understand why they are working with you. Listen to them…and find out what the challenges are. You don't want to focus on what is working…you need to find out what ISN'T. That is where you will add value.
Develop A Plan
Don't make it a complicated plan. This is basic 30-60-90 days stuff. Don't roll your eyes...MOST people don't do this. Don't be like MOST. Be a catalyst. Yes...it sucks a little bit, mostly because it is hard to sit down and put thought to paper, but it also happens to be the activity that most UNSUCCESSFUL people don't do. Take that risk off of the table and work a plan.
Let's be realistic...you got the job because you know what you are doing...you've done it before, or something similar, and you're smart. A smart person can spend a few hours thinking about all the things they think their leadership would want you to deliver.
Do this! Jot down a few things you think you'd need to tackle in the first 30 days. This will lead to you next 60 days (pick things that further clarify the first 30 days of activity), and then expand the scope to determine what you want to continue for the next 90 days. Give this to your manager. GET TO KNOW your manager - it will shape your basic plan. Be less concerned about whether you think it is the right thing to do, and more concerned with taking the initiative on your own...and informing your new leadership that you are a person of ACTION.
Taking full ownership of your success is your ONLY responsibility. Even if your company offers you training, a mentor, etc., DO NOT RELY ON THEM…rely on yourself and LEVERAGE their support.
I'll be taking my own advice!
Shift your view.
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