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Get to Grips with your New Role

So you’ve finally made the big move, flew the nest, jumped ships or joined the enemy.

Well done, it’s never an easy thing to do!

With every move comes great excitement and new opportunities, but also some potential pitfalls. So what should you expect in your first few months in a new company? Here are a few pointers on what to do and how to make the best impression.

Drawing on my own personal experience and from placing senior professionals or leaders into organisations, I have some key pointers on where people tend to go wrong in the initial period.

Let’s face it; starting in a new place can be a daunting experience. All the effort you put into developing relationships across different business units, all the effort gone into internal politics you battled through and successes you had are now extinct. You’re back to the start again.

The technical experience you’ve developed is probably the main reason you’ve got the new role; you’ve worked hard to develop a particular skillset and for the most part your new employer feels it will add significant value to the organization.

A lot of people underestimate the time taken to adjust to new systems, processes and standard operating procedures in a new company – this can be frustrating – so give it time!

The second common mistake people make is trying to do too much. Call it over-excitement or the need to impress, but spreading yourself too thin too quickly could have a lasting impact in your new company.

Be sure to remember your strengths, seek out areas you can add the most value too, set yourself a realistic target and exceed it.

From a cultural perspective it’s important to take a step back in your first few days and observe the ‘norm’ in your new environment. A common mistake some leaders make is to operate as they would have normally and before they know it, they’ve rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way and it’s a very difficult situation to be in.

Also, it’s important to remember to navigate laterally across the organisation as much as you navigate vertically.

The tendency for any new manager/leader is to develop the relationships directly around them – their direct reports and immediate manager. Developing relationships early across multiple functions will stand to you in the long run.

Keeping the above in mind will allow you to develop a clear strategy on what you need to do, how to do it and why everyone should be excited about being involved.

By the end of your first few months you want your peers to feel like something exciting is happening, that there’s a positive change having occurred, and that you’re building up a credible and respected profile in the organization.

Identify your supporters and keep an eye out for opponents.


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