Finding your feet in a new role can be equally as exciting as it is challenging. A new job means new procedures, different people, a fresh work culture, and usually a whole lot to learn. Naturally, jumping into a new environment can be daunting at first, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt, despite any doubts you may have. The first few weeks with an organisation can set the tone for your entire time there, so it’s worth doing some preparation to make it as rewarding as possible. If you’ve recently taken on a new role (or are about to), we’ve put together some advice on how to settle into a new job quickly.
Maximise the Handover Period and Write Everything Down
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a handover with their predecessor, but if you’re one of the lucky ones, make the most of it. With so much time spent together during a handover, there’s the chance to build a close rapport quickly. Not only will they explain the job, company processes, and cultural aspects, they could be great connectors for introducing key contacts, and even provide the lowdown on company politics. That being said, it’s important to make your own judgements as well – they are leaving the business after all, so what they perceive may not be what you experience.
Whether it’s a name, a task that’s been given, or snippets of company information, be sure to take notes. Writing things down often triggers memory functions as well. Not only is this helpful, but a well-used notebook makes a nice impression, so keep that pen and paper close by! There are also some great task management apps like Wunderlist and Todoist.
Building Relationships with Colleagues (And Key Stakeholders)
When you’re brand new to an organisation, it can be difficult to put yourself out there. However, making the effort to proactively build connections early on will not only help with the transition but also create a solid first impression.
Channel those networking skills by introducing yourself and asking people about their role and how it might fit with yours. It helps to take an interest in what people are doing and assisting voluntarily whenever possible, is seen as a great attribute. Establishing yourself as a supportive team member and embracing team spirit from day one will help to build respect and trust.
Map out company stakeholders and make the effort to meet them. Don’t forget the gatekeepers though – sometimes a great relationship with an EA or PA can work wonders!
Understand the New Culture
It’s likely that the organisational culture played a big part in the decision to join the company in the first place, so getting to know what it looks like as soon as you can will help you feel more comfortable in your new working environment in a quicker timeframe.
Use the first few weeks to immerse yourself in the culture. Take note of how tough decisions are made or the process for discussing key topics. A new organisation often means a new way of doing things, and it’s important to adapt to the surroundings so that you, and your co-workers, can transition smoothly to the new dynamic.
As someone with a fresh perspective, you may develop your own ideas on how to improve things from a culture perspective. However, make sure adequate time is taken to absorb everything before suggestions are put forward. When the team sees that you’ve tried things their way first, they will be more likely to listen.
Build Rapport with the Boss
You may have worked really well with a previous manager, but it is important to start a new relationship with a clean slate and with no expectations. A new boss means new priorities and almost certainly, new ways of doing things.
Meetings with your new manager are the perfect opportunity to make sure everything is tracking the way it should be. It’s important to know what they will be looking for by the end of your probationary period. If your boss doesn’t clarify any specific goals and expectations, write your own and discuss them together to ensure you are on the same page.
Figure out their communication style – is it email, memos, face-to-face meetings? Find out how they like to work, and how they like things done. For example, are they interested in the details or do they prefer a higher-level overview? Do they like frequent updates and prefer to be more involved, or are they hands-off, allowing for an autonomous approach?
It’s nice to think about what your boss might appreciate from you as well. Remember, a new hire is a big investment. Keep them updated with regular, short check-ins. They’ll appreciate the initiative and be in a position to help when they’re informed of any additional support necessary, or unanswered questions. Knowing you’re transitioning well will also instil confidence in your capabilities.
And…Ask Lots of Questions
There is a big advantage to being new, meaning lots of questions are allowed. Don’t hold back! Whether it’s about the role, people in the team, internal processes, or the market, ask it all. Although questions should always be invited, you won’t have the same chance a few months in, and your proactive interest will be welcomed.
Whether it’s how to operate the printer, or you’re not sure on what you should be doing, or how to complete a particular task, just ask. Even if you want to know the best places to eat! Asking questions can also help you to build relationships with your colleagues, and stronger relationships often mean a happier and more productive workplace.
Remember, settling into a new job can take time and it is natural that it can feel daunting, but being new is only temporary. Be patient, take care of relationships and ask lots of questions. Once you have made the right first impression, all that is left to do is deliver against those high expectations! After settling in, it will all feel like second nature, so if you’re looking for more advice or are in the market for a new Accounting job in Sydney, get in touch with us today.
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