Top considerations when starting a new job

Top considerations when starting a new job

Sarah Reid

We’ve all been there, you start a new job and you want to show your new employer just how good you are and how you’re the best hire they have made (that’s a slight exaggeration but you know what I mean). As a recruitment consultant I hear both sides of the fence – the candidate and the client – and sometimes, the expectations for both can differ greatly. In order to manage these expectations, below are some points you may wish to consider when starting a new role.

Take the time to fully understand your new employer’s internal processes and service offerings. Whilst this sounds like an obvious point to make, many people do not do this and instead focus their attention on trying to instantly showcase their skill set. By taking the time to gain a holistic understanding of the various aspects within your business, you will be better equipped to add more value both internally and externally to your new clients.

Determine realistic goals in order to make an impact. Again, it seems like an obvious point to make but many clients I speak with inform me that new employees forget to do this and end up spreading their time too thinly. It’s perfectly ok not to be an instant success from day one.

Once you have a few weeks under your belt and understand a little more about the business, take some time to sit down with your line manager, review your job description together and set some goals for the first 3/6 months in your new career - this will give you some structure, and in turn enable you to make a (softer) impact right from the off. Take control!

Do not be afraid to ask! We have all heard the saying "there is no such thing as a stupid question". I cannot stress that this really is the case, how are you feasibly expected to know everything from day one? Your colleagues and managers will prefer you to ask questions and seek clarity upfront; which will make you far more efficient. However, strike the right balance. If you have asked a question and it’s been answered - write it down - avoid asking the same question twice. It is not only frustrating to have to answer again, but it doesn't give the right impression as to your listening skills!

It is ok to offer a new approach. Don’t forget where you have come from and the experience you have gained to date. Your past experiences and current skill set will add value – that’s why you've been hired after all.

Challenging a company’s status quo shows analytical thinking which can be invaluable to a business.

However, do take the time to understand what has worked and what hasn't before suggesting ideas or implementing change and avoid the “I've always done it this way” mentality. Things may have worked previously, but it may not be relevant or appropriate for your new company. Do not make changes without consulting those around you; get them on side!

Be honest with yourself in terms of what you can achieve. Understanding your strengths and what you are able to accomplish will show your new employer that you are an honest individual with realistic goals. This will make your managers life a lot easier and will manage expectations. Don’t forget that there will be plenty of time to learn and develop!

Make the time to understand the characters you're working with. Everyone has different working styles, so making that additional effort to recognise how your new colleagues work will show that you are adaptable, and that you can work with people of all working styles. Having this skill also shows an element of emotional intelligence, particularly if you are working with individuals who are forthright in their approach.

Finally…Network! Build internal relationships and network at all opportunities.

This has many benefits. You will not only stand apart from your peers, but it will help you feel more comfortable in the business by knowing your colleagues. Perhaps more importantly, by building these relationships, you will be able to draw on colleagues to help deliver to clients on matters that are not your area of expertise - cross selling is good for your commercial acumen and also for building revenue for the business - which is always good for your personal profile!