My friend Stephen started a new job this week. His post about first impressions is a fun read and will transport you back to the first days on the job. Click over and read it (should only take a minute or two). He asked for some tips/advice on how to spend those first days, and I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts here.
I am proud of you, my friend! They are very lucky to have you on board. I’m in the exact same position as you. Our company is split between two main locations, and I’m trying to support both areas. If possible, plan a trip to the other locale and give them plenty of notice in advance so they can prepare questions for you. I had that opportunity after being here only a few weeks and it was a great opportunity to meet them and make them more comfortable with me.
Find out what your senior leaders believe in. Like Steve mentioned, find out what is best about their culture and commit yourself to that. I found out that our senior leaders firmly believe in our core values, and I now try to tie those into any project I’m working on so it will have their support.
On the flip side, find out what they like least, but like Lisa said, keep from “doing” anything about it until you have time to see the big picture. There will be plenty of time later to fix what’s broken. The thing to do now is find out what is broken and why it hasn’t been fixed before now. Is it because it’s too costly, takes too much time, is a pet project of an executive, etc.?
Two things I’ve taken to doing when I first start a job:
- Immediately schedule a 1 month review with my manager and get it on the calendar.
- Start a draft Word document and write down everything you do that takes more than a few minutes. At the end of the day/week/month, you will be amazed at the things you’ve done since starting, and it will help you when you sit down with your manager to see if you are focusing on what is important to them.
Anyone else have ideas for the first days on the job?