How to Settle into a New Job – Part One
Congratulations! You have accepted a new job offer, and you are about to start the job you really wanted. On one hand, you are excited, but on the other hand, you might be feeling a bit apprehensive. How will settle into your new job? Will you fit in? Will people like you? Will you be able to do the job?
The first couple months working somewhere new can be exciting, terrifying, and confusing – and they can really make or break your time at a particular company. If you’re looking for an extra push to get settled into your new role, there are some techniques that you may wish to try as the first few weeks of any new job are always difficult, and even seasoned professionals admit starting over is tough. However, if you anticipate the changes and challenges ahead, your transition into the new organisation can be much smoother. Let go of your expectations, no job will ever be exactly as expected. In order to transition well, you must be flexible, ready to take on new challenges and able to adjust to a new working environment. A new position also means acquiring a whole new array of relationships. Make sure to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.
If you have a little room, even if it’s just a couple of days, between leaving your old role and starting a new one, take some time to mentally prepare yourself to settle into your new job. You’ll feel refreshed and excited for what’s to come – instead of totally burned out!
Make Sure You Are Clear on Expectations
This is very important, especially if you haven’t seen a full job description (If you don’t already have one, ask for it!). You need to know your key priorities and understand how your performance will be measured. The first few weeks in a new role is also a great time to ask questions. So, make sure you ask them now, not six months later when people will expect you to know things!
Get to Know Your New Manager
Understanding your manager’s communication style early in the process is crucial. Find out how he or she likes to work on a day-to-day basis and particularly, how they like things done. For example, do they prefer one-on-one meetings over team meetings? Do they like very detailed presentations or do they prefer simple overviews? Find out how they work together with different departments and how they report to senior management. Finding out these things early on will help you settle into your new role more quickly. Be positive and initiate a meeting with your new boss to discuss how they like to work and adapt. This will help you get an understanding of what is expected of you and help set clear expectations. If you’re working from home in this post-COVID world, make sure you get over any Zoom-jitters you may have and be proactive in meeting managers and peers on day one.
Remember to listen and don’t assume what worked in your old job will work here!
You may be eager to introduce yourself and your plan, but don’t dominate conversations. Listen to others so their input can guide you. And if that worked in your old job, remember – every organisation has a way of operating. Don’t assume what worked in your last company will work in the new one. Understand the new dynamics and how to establish your authority.
Be Comfortable Not Knowing the Answer
Sometimes, the questions you ask are more important than the answers you have. So be intellectually curious and ask questions about everything. Don’t be shy if you don’t understand a new industry acronym (especially in government jobs!) or if you don’t understand why something is done a certain way. Instead, just question it.! A good employer will welcome those questions because your fresh eyes are bringing new insights into the company. Too many companies get used to doing things a certain way, sometimes to their detriment – and your questions force a healthy re-examination of whether the old way is the best way.
In our next blog we’ll look at more tips to help you settle into a new job.