So again congrats on nailing your job search and securing a new role and hopefully exiting your previous company without burning any bridges. You will no doubt be excited about starting your new role but probably also have some ‘pre-match nerves’. Whilst every individual, job and situation is different I have drawn on my 15+ years recruitment experience, where I have helped literally hundreds of people transfer from job to job, in order to offer this general advice to ensure that you integrate readily into your new environment and ultimately succeed in the role!
#1: Worry. Firstly, don’t worry! Through the selection process, the hiring company potentially the representing recruitment agency and your good self have all came to the strong conclusion that you are a good fit for the job. Everyone has made a future commitment on this basis. Therefore whilst some ‘pre-match’ nerves are certainly natural, you can afford to be confident and both hope and expect that things will go well.
#2: Statistics. Occasionally, ‘mis-fits’ do happen in permanent recruitment, where the candidate resigns or released in the initial weeks due to misunderstanding or mismatch, this is one reason why recruitment agencies typically have guarantee/rebate period. This is never ideal but fortunately only happens I would say 5% of the time.
#3: Time. Ideally take a week or more off between jobs. Due to financial pressures and wanting to ensure consistency of earnings it seems people typically go straight from one job on a Friday to another on a Monday. However, this will make your head spin! I suggest that the ‘head-space’ that you will gain from the break will be worth it. Allowing you to decompress, get your composure together and feel like the fresh start feel fresh!
#4: Research: You likely did some research before the interview but it’s always good to re-visit this and/or go a little bit deeper into the areas that will be directly relevant to your new role, e.g products, projects, future colleagues etc. This will help put you ‘in the zone’ for start but also help polish your first impression as you will have something to talk about with people you are introduced to.
#5: Day 1 Requirements. Any decent corporate company will typically have an organised ‘on-boarding’ set up where good information is provided as to day 1 / week 1 requirements, arrangements and schedule, (to take the stress/uncertainty out of it). However, you may need to give them a nudge to provide info such as the dress code, what to expect and what you need to bring with you. Don’t be afraid to ask as this sets your mind at rest and is proactive and professional at the end of the day.
#6: Notes. You will likely be bombarded with lots of information in your first week, not least everyone name and job roles plus different log-ins etc. So I suggest having a notepad with you and taking notes as appropriate. This saves again takes pressure of remembering and avoids repeated questions which may leave them thinking, what happened, they seemed so smart at the interview! 🙂
#7: Pressure. Changing jobs is a stressful situation, right ‘up there’ with divorce and moving house; there is no point in putting extra pressure on yourself. Just do your best (obviously) and as much as possible RELAX!
#8: Doubts. It is natural at some point, maybe several points, to doubt yourself or doubt the decision to move jobs. In normal circumstances I encourage you to keep looking forward and persevere, the feelings will pass as your confidence and capability grows in the new role.
#9: Emergency exit. Notwithstanding the perseverance point previously. If is obvious that the move was a mistake and is never going to work out, then it is likely better to pull the chute early rather than dragging out a bad situation. This will limit the wasted investment from the new employer in training someone who will soon leave. Also, you may be able to drop back into your old job if you now appreciate it’s relative merits!
#10: Relationships. It may be stating the obvious but make the extra effort to build relationships, make the first move, strike up a rapport, accept offers of help/lunch etc. Also don’t just focus on your peers, think 360 degrees where you get to know your bosses, subordinates, and colleagues in other areas of the business. This will help you integrate and gain sense of’ belonging’.
#11: Questions. I suggest, within reason, to ask as many questions to as many people as possible. As a Manager I find, it’s way better, to be responsible for someone who is being proactive and asking and learning as much as possible vs sitting back and waiting to be spoon-fed everything from me!
#12: Observation: I encourage you to also listen and observe everything you see in the initial weeks. This ‘people watching’ will allow you to get a handle on the norms, values and overall working culture. E.g communication styles, expectations on work/deadlines, hours and breaks etc.
#13: Learn. Be prepared to listen to people at all levels and learn from them. You are still the ‘new guy’ even if joining in a senior role. On related notes: Be prepared to be wrong. Be prepared to change.
#14: Let-it-go! A little bit is natural and forgivable, but there is nothing worse than hearing someone harping on about ‘how they used to do it’ or worse, ‘how they have always done it’! Let-it-go, just listen, learn and of course bring your ideas and suggestions to the table but sensitively, (it’s important to fit in as well as to come across as smart!) 🙂
#15: Get to know them. You and/or your colleagues may be private people and of course be sensitive to this. However, in general it is good to show an interest in people on a personal as well as professional basis. This is particularly important if you are getting to know a team you will be managing. This could include, hobbies, kids, pets, etc. Maybe religion and politics can wait a while, you don’t want to ruffle any feathers!
#16: Situational Analysis. Again especially pertinent in a management role and assuming that I am ‘teaching granny to suck eggs’ if you are joining in such a capacity; good practice would suggest to conduct a full situational analysis in order to fully get the lay of the land and to take key people’s expertise and opinion into account before making any changes. (Measure twice, cut once).
#17: KISS principal. There will be so much to learn and plenty to try not to worry about! Therefore to stay as sane as possible, you should deliberately follow the KISS principal. i.e keep it simple stupid! Just focus on coming up to speed by fulfilling the key job functions well before trying to change the whole organisation and going on to world domination!
#18: Enjoy. You worked hard to secure this new job role which will hopefully be a catalyst for positive change in your career but also your life in general. So ENJOY it, you’ve earned it!
So hopefully these pointers help you focus on a few simple things to best ensure that you settle in well to your new job. Focusing on the aspects that you can effect and change is always better than worrying.
I’ll finish here with a reminder that life is a journey, not a destination and change is the only constant! This is neither the first nor last major change that you will undertake in your career and indeed ‘managing’ change is a skill in itself so again enjoy your new job but don’t get ‘too comfortable’; the next big challenge (either internal or external) is likely just around the corner!
If you are looking for information or advice on any recruitment or job-search subject, feel free to give me a shout.
Likewise if you are looking for ‘first-class’ representation as a client or candidate, connect at coordinates below.
All the best, Anthony