You’ve Landed a Great Job. Now What?
In our previous blog post, we examined how companies can improve the onboarding experience. In this post, we have some advice for employees beginning a new role.
Landing a new job can be an exciting, and sometimes nerve-racking, experience. On one hand, you want to jump in and get started. On the other hand, you need time to get acclimated. How do you balance these competing needs?
We’ve surveyed our FGP team, and here are their onboarding tips to help you succeed in your new role.
Before your first day:
- Ask questions. This might include specifics about the dress code, “casual day,” where to park or what the onboarding timeline looks like.
- Do your homework. Learn as much as you can about your new company. In addition to studying the company’s website, take a look at SEC filings, which provide key insights into how the firm is structured as well as the company’s leadership and business operations.
- Reach out to new colleagues. Send a short email to your new boss and the team you interviewed with to let them know how excited you are to be joining them.
- Rehearse your elevator pitch. You’ll be asked several times throughout the day about what brought you to your new company.
During your first week:
- Arrive early and stay late. On your first day, plan on arriving 20–30 minutes before you begin, but check in about 10 minutes before your scheduled start time. Staying late helps communicate your willingness to go the extra mile.
- Dress appropriately. In a formal office culture, dress a little better on Day 1 than you would during a regular workday. If the office attire is relaxed, make sure your definition of “relaxed” matches the company’s.
- Find a mentor or a work buddy to show you the ropes.
- Read what you need to read and sign what you need to sign. Even though you’ll want to dive right into your role, if you put the basics off, they will simply take up valuable time later.
- Make connections. Say “yes” to coffee, lunch or after-work social events. Relationships will be fundamental to succeeding in your new role.
- Arrange for one-on-one time with your boss. This is a perfect opportunity to build a connection, learn about expectations and management style and ask clarifying questions. Arrange regular catch-up times going forward as well.
During your first month:
- Let go of the past. Don’t disparage your previous employer, but don’t set your former company up on a pedestal either. If there were practices that can benefit the new organization, bring them up, but beware of falling into a repetitive “at my old company, we used to… “ routine.
- Think before you criticize. While you may have a better way of doing X, Y or Z, make sure you understand what X, Y and Z truly entail.
- Offer to pitch in. Show that your value extends beyond the role that you were hired to perform.
- Thank those who help you. Appreciation shows humility and fosters teamwork.
- Ask for feedback from your boss and colleagues.
For new leaders:
- Set clear guidelines and expectations, especially when it comes to establishing culture.
- Be a role model. Be aware that colleagues and direct reports will be watching and that how you interact with others matters.
- Admit to what you don’t know. Asking questions helps empower and engage those who will be working with you.
- Focus on what’s important. Rather than addressing every “urgent” issue as it comes up, take the time to get a proper perspective on what will truly make a difference.
- Respect your group’s—and your colleagues’—time. Keep team and one-on-one meetings on-track and on-schedule.
- Develop your strategy and success metrics quickly. A solid action plan will help shield you and your team from engaging in unproductive activities.
Above all, be confident in your new role. You were hired because you possess a unique combination of skills and experiences, and you now have the opportunity to put them to work to benefit your new company. Seek out challenges and opportunities for professional development, be sure to invest in your team, and once you’ve built strong connections, be sure to maintain them.