Changing jobs is often a very complex process, especially when you’re changing higher up on the career ladder. The process doesn’t end with the new job – that’s just the beginning of a whole new chapter. It’s exciting and positive that you are starting a new position, so it’s best to know how to start out right. Especially in the (not really seldom) case that you didn’t have much time in between to relax, it’s best to have a plan on how to settle in the best possible way.
1. Make a good entrance
Of course you should think about how to make a good entrance. Meaning, think about how you want to communicate your change. Think about what you want to say to your new colleagues. Plan out how you want to “sell” your career change. Was it the thing you always wanted to do? Did you push your career to the next level? Did you want to make your tasks more meaningful? Try to see it as if – although you already have the job – you’re making a first impression over and over again.
2. Maintain your connections
And not only new contacts but also your previous contacts, old colleagues, mentors need to understand your move. Look at your own personal brand and how it can best grow from your new assignment. How can you best grow your network without neglecting contacts that you already have?
3. Get to know everyone
Whether your new company is big or small, make an effort to get to know everyone. Show your face, be interested and listen. It’s your best opportunity to really understand the new place you work in and what’s going on there.
4. Decide where you want to fit in
Once you got a good look at every corner of your new company, decide where you want to stand. Make some mental notes on people that you think can help you, that seem to know things others don’t and that are likely to give you good and smart advice in different directions. You don’t need to start playing mind-games and “use” people but it’s good to understand how the network functions and where the main connection points are.
5. Be clear up front with your goals and expectations
Try to prepare a very clear understanding of what you want to achieve and how you want to go about that in your new job. It’s most effective if people don’t have to “figure you out” first, before they know what you want from them. Be communicative about why you came there and what you came there to do and how your team and your colleagues are expected to help you with that. And let actions follow! Share your vision and it will become easier to follow it.
6. Establish new routines
Every work environment is different and especially in the beginning you will not have a lot of structures laid out for you. You might have to build them yourself. Structure your day, structure your tasks and establish routines, so you can start getting busy and producing results right away. Make your job fit you before it starts to fit you in.
7. Be consistent and have fun!
It might be a lot in the beginning but if your structures and routines work, they will soon create consistency and people will fall right into it. Try and stay the person you’ve introduced yourself as and continue to share your vision and goals. It will make it easier for you to stay in a good productive place where you can (and should!) also have fun doing what you do.
Stephan B. Breitfeld
Ingeniam Executive Search & Human Capital Consulting GmbH & Co.