With the hard work done to land your new role, it’s tempting to take your foot of the accelerator. To sit back and think: “job done”. And you deserve that celebration and that breathing space.
But come Day One, you’ll want to be right back on it. And your eagerness will not be confined to simply making a good impression. At your level, you’ll want to do more than that. You’ll want to lay the foundations at the very outset that will ultimately cement a stellar reputation.
Here are a few thoughts to get yourself off to a flying start, from Week One.
Fine tune your pitch and your promise
From Day One, you’ll be introduced – and introducing yourself – to lots of new people. At reception, at people’s desks, at the watercooler and in meetings. Think for a moment about your personal pitch: how will you introduce yourself and what you’re here to do? Your personal brand: what impression do you want to leave people with? Your personal promise: what useful promise of follow-up will you make – to really make a connection?
The impact and influence we have is largely dependent on how well-connected we are with the people around us. So no time to lose. And no time to wait to be introduced. Get out there and start forging relationships across the organisation.
Get a handle on your stakeholders
It’s always interesting to reflect on how often we talk about the importance of knowing our stakeholders – without applying that same logic to our day-to-day. As if stakeholders are the sole preserve of special project work. Know where your touchpoints are going to be in the organisation.
Forge quality relationships – at every level
Everyone you meet will potentially play a role in helping you to deliver on your job. So forge quality relationships from the very outset – and at every level. Immediate colleagues, of course. And also stakeholders (see above). And what about the security team who will be happy to let you work late. The cleaners who will remember that you don’t like to have your desk layout touched of an evening. The tech team who will get your systems working. The support teams who tell you how things really are with the product.
Ask questions – and listen to the answers
A great way to establish rapport when meeting people is to ask about them. Start with soft questions like: how long have you been working here? What’s your role? But then you can start to get their insights into your role. So: “I’m just getting up-to-speed. How does your role fit into what I’m doing? What would be really useful for me to know at this stage?” And so on. Get their input. And listen – beneath the surface too.
Get the industry insight
Another stand-out trait of successful professionals is that ability to see the relevance of the in-the-office grind to the bigger-picture reality. As you’re getting up-to-speed with the new role, keep pulling it back to the bigger picture. Get the 30,000ft view – not just the detail.
Start building your KPI network
Within any organisation, there will be Key People of Influence. Learn who these people are quickly – and start building relationships with those people. With due care, consideration and respect for your co-workers, of course.
Set expectations – in both directions
Those with stand-out reputations are those who get straight to the heart of it. What they’re here to do, what difference they’re here to make, what’s important and what’s not. Start that process from the outset by getting clear on expectations. What does your manager, leadership, team, clients and customers expect from you? And what do you expect from them? Get crystal clear on expectations, responsibilities and deliverables.
Get your tech and systems working
Once we’ve been in a job for a short while, we take for granted all the technology and little systems we have at our disposal. Security passes, laptops, logins, software. All the tools that let us do our job. Get the ball rolling on this as you walk in the door. And build a relationship: both with the gatekeeper who signs-off your access – and the tech teams who get it sorted for you!
The truth is: you have done the hard work to land this new role. And now it’s time to enjoy this next chapter and the new challenges ahead. Fully immerse yourself in your new role. Embrace everything it offers. And have fun with it – because doesn’t the reputation you want to establish with your new colleagues include someone who’s great to work with?