New Job? These 9 Traits Will Predict How Long You’ll Last
Congrats on your new job! Here’s some advice from Procurious founder Tania Seary to help you navigate your first 30 days.
Are you one of the millions who have recently quit their job during “The Great Resignation” (aka the Big Quit)? Exciting times! Starting any new job can be difficult – especially if you’re trying to make a good impression from a makeshift home office.
I have employed hundreds of people in 20 years of running my own companies and honestly, I can tell pretty quickly who will thrive, and who will flame out in spectacular fashion. So I wanted to share my career tips to make sure that isn’t going to be you!
If you want to thrive in your new job, here are nine key ways to make a great first impression and earn the trust of your colleagues.
- Make time to get to know the team
So many new people don’t invest time to get to know the other members of their team. As team leaders, we try to facilitate that, but you also have to take accountability. With many of us still working remotely, connecting and getting to know others online takes that extra amount of effort!
In my companies we have lots of fun social events so people can get to know each other. And no, working remotely is not an excuse to skip the fun (seriously, check out these possibilities!). Jump in and take advantage – even if it’s not your thing.
- Don’t act like you know everything
Because you don’t. And that’s OK…you’re not meant to. Every company will have its own way of doing things – even if you’re using the exact same systems and programmes you used in your previous job. It’s a good opportunity to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and ask lots of questions. Being new means you have the luxury of being able to ask all manner of things, so make the most of the opportunity!
Which brings us to my next tip…
Listen and ask lots of questions. I always say you only get one chance to be “the new guy,” so make the most of it! Go ahead and ask all the ‘obvious’ dumb questions. Chances are good that your questions aren’t that dumb and may actually end up with that, “Huh…” moment as existing team members think about something in a different way for the first time. This helps build their understanding and cement your status in the team!
- Share a little bit of yourself
Give and you will receive. The best way to build meaningful relationships is to be a bit vulnerable; share a little about yourself. Now, I’m talking about your hobbies and interests, NOT your whole life story.
How much should you share? I like how Dr. Brené Brown put it, “Vulnerability minus boundaries is not vulnerability.” Sharing an appropriate amount about yourself can open up avenues for others to find a connection with you. Don’t be a droid. Be human.
- Navigate the politics
Let’s face it, even the most simple corporate structures have some politics. Make sure you don’t step on any toes, and be strategic in working out the power structure and personalities. It’s important! You don’t want to “mention the war” or stand on any land mines within your first couple of weeks.
- Keep the communication open and flowing with your boss
My biggest recommendation is to keep the communication flowing with your boss…especially if you’re working in different locations. Just a 15 minute morning check-in and end of week wrap-up are perfect to make sure you’re on the same page and help you build rapport.
- Develop your plan for evolution, not revolution
It’s important that at the end of your first month you share very specific, thoughtful ideas about how you can add value to the job. But please…make sure your plan is an evolution, not a revolution. Most organisations have been through enough change and disruption over the last two years. Don’t come in with a bulldozer and destroy all the effort your peers and leaders invested to keep the department, division or company afloat.
Couch all your brilliant recommendations in a way that respects what is there today, but shows a pathway forward to greatness. Who knows? They may even decide to jump straight into your plan.
- Be patient
Which leads perfectly to patience. The old cliche “Rome wasn’t built in a day” couldn’t be more true. I’ve had a lot of new recruits come in with fabulous ideas that I want to implement immediately, but can’t. I have to wait for the team to be ready or for other priorities to be fulfilled before we can make changes. And it could be several months until we’re ready.
Change will come. It may not be to your exact timeframe, but it will come.
- Beware “month three”
There’s a strange phenomenon that often happens in the third month of your new job. Recruitment consultants call it “the dip” – the point when the excitement wears off and reality kicks in. And with that ‘dip’ in job satisfaction, you might be tempted to quit. The key is to be ready for it and work through this challenging period, communicating with your boss constantly. And if this boss is the problem, you should check out this blog first. It might give you a different perspective.
But if you’re really unhappy and you know it’s not working out, find a new job. And of course you’ll need to quit in style!
I’m excited for your new job, and I want you to be successful! Plus, you have a whole network of fellow procurement professionals right here on Procurious who are rooting for you too.