Starting a New Job? My Advice

By Ruby Vesely on March 31, 2015

Posted by Ruby Vesely | March 31, 2015Starting a New Job? My AdviceI recently started my new job with SkyeTeam and have truly loved every minute of it. I am part of a strong team full of extremely talented people who do great work. I have so much to learn, but am excited about the opportunity and the future of our organization. However, in the past 30 days, I have been reminded what it feels like to be a new employee. It seems that no matter how wonderful and exciting your new opportunity is or how self-aware you are, starting a new job is always challenging and stressful. The good news – there are multiple ways to help increase your confidence and ensure your success as you start your new endeavor. Here are a few that I feel strongly about:Celebrate and Prepare for ChangeThis can sometimes by overlooked. I have heard many of my colleagues talk about leaving their previous job on a Friday and starting work the following Monday. This barely leaves enough time to do your weekend chores and pick out your outfit for the first day of work! It certainly does not allow the time to mentally change gears and be open to all that the new opportunity offers. I would further argue that it only encourages you to carry the “baggage” from your last job into the new one. It is essential to celebrate the past and mentally transition to the future.Celebrate! I strongly advise that you never pass up the opportunity to celebrate. Saying goodbye to an old job (your successes and failures) and the anticipation of a new job (your hopes and dreams) is an occasion to be marked with great celebration. It can be a cup of coffee with a friend, buying new clothes, having a special dinner with family, drinking a really good bottle of wine, spending time outdoors – anything that helps you to truly acknowledge the significance of the moment.Mentally transition. Every organization is different, including your manager and his/her responses to your work style, what is deemed “appropriate” workplace behavior, co-worker relationships, team norms, etc. Therefore, when starting a new job, you cannot assume that what worked in the past will work again in your new role. During yoga class, my teacher always asks, “What do you know?” and we respond “Nothing!” The point is that we experience each class in a new way and let go of expectations, fear, and stress from previous classes. This allows us to be open to learning the postures anew and to not hold ourselves back from what we think we can’t do. It is important to be open and fearless in your new job, and you can’t be this way if you are still reeling from your past job, past hurts, and past stress.Remember to also make environmental changes that signify a shift. For me, this included setting up my home office (rearranging furniture, buying computer equipment, cleaning my desk) and procuring office supplies – most importantly a two-foot stack of sticky notes in a rainbow of colors!Notify your NetworkThis may seem like an obvious one, but it was something I almost skipped over. During my first week, my CEO, Morag asked for my biography and picture to share on our website and LinkedIn. In an attempt to prioritize my new to-do list, I asked her “How soon do you need that? Is it urgent?” Of course it is! I now understand the importance and urgency of sharing the update with my network. As soon as it was posted on LinkedIn and Facebook, many friends, family, and old teammates responded and congratulated me. It was a great moment and part of my celebration. It also sparked reconnection with several old friends and colleagues, many of whom I have met for coffee/lunch recently or exchanged emails.Learn the BusinessIdeally, this begins before you start work. Hopefully, prior to the interview process, you were able to research and learn about the company and your teammates. However, it is now time to get serious and REALLY learn the business.If a public company, have you read the financial report? This is a “must do.” I didn’t read my first financial report until grad school (and was required to do it). It may sound like a really awful thing to do, but the benefits and information are immense. (Don’t do it all in one day though!) You will learn about the company’s products, organization size and structure, biggest customers, revenue and income over the past few years, organizational strengths and weaknesses, leadership team, etc. Some companies also have a CSR annual report that will provide insight on the company culture.Understand the vision, mission and business strategy of the organization. In order for you to be successful in your new role, everything you do at work has to align with the vision, mission, and business strategy of the organization. Where is your company headed in the next 5 years? Who are you helping? What problems are you solving? How does your role align and fit into this structure? You can learn the answers to these questions by researching your company, talking to your executive team, and learning from your colleagues – especially those who have been around a while. Knowing the answers to these questions can make a world of difference in how you are perceived by your colleagues, executive leadership, and customers. Lastly, remember that knowing the business is an ongoing priority, especially since things change all the time…Start Building RelationshipsBuilding relationships will be inevitable, but the sooner you start this, the more effective and FUN your team and projects will be.“Relationships at work are the key to our success and our well-being, and they are ultimately critical to the amount of enjoyment we get during office hours.” Morag Barrett, CultivateDon’t get so caught up in your new to-do list, that you forget the people with whom you need to start building relationships. I admit this is an area with which I struggle. I am a “doer” and want to get all my tasks completed before I have fun and chat with my colleagues. This makes me laugh because I exhibited the same behavior when I was in grade school. I always worked really quickly to get my assignments done in class (usually the first one completed), and then I would get in trouble for talking to others while they were trying to finish their work!I have to purposely make time to cultivate relationships and make that personal connection with each teammate. Schedule time with your new colleagues as soon as possible [Talking to myself here]. Questions can include: How can I help? Are there any “quick win” projects I can work on that will lighten your load? How can we best work together going forward? This will help you immediately start contributing, adding value to the team, and building extraordinary work relationships.To sum it all up, be proactive in navigating this challenging time of starting a new job – including celebrating the transition, notifying your network, learning the business, and last (but not least) building your relationships.Related ArticlesTags »career advicenew job Share
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