9 Things You Must Do In The First 6 Months Of Your New Role

When joining a new company it’s very important to make a strong impression and to do so from the very start. The old adage holds true: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

Of course, there is more to life than first impressions and we all know examples of having drawn conclusions from first impressions only to later realise we were quite wrong!! – Learning this lesson can be very important and perhaps worthy of a blog of it’s own….

Having been recruiting and interviewing people for over 30 years – My approach when I meet people is to acknowledge that I draw a first conclusion and then to spend the next 30 minutes challenging that impression – many people make the mistake of simply confirming their first impression!

Plan –  do all you can to influence the first impression people have of you:

Know when people get into the office and don’t be last in.

How do people dress?  Show up appropriately.

Who are the team in the office – unless it’s a huge office, know something about the people you will be working with – today it’s not hard to do some homework and know who people are before you join.

Be positive and confident in your approach and demeaner.  Its important to make an impression immediately – make sure the superficial aspects of your first impression are not going to let you down and now you need to focus on what you joined to do and why you were hired: In the first 6 months – make sure your actions and contributions remind your hiring manager about why they hired you.  Follow these simple steps and you should fit into your new role seamlessly.

1. Remember why you took the job.

What drew you to apply for the role or pursue the opportunity? Was it the responsibility or opportunity to make a difference to you or the company? Remember the reasons you applied and work towards hitting the goals that the company has set you.  Work towards your own goals and take advantage of the learning and experience opportunities. Remembering why you wanted to be there will keep you motivated and keep you pushing yourself to make the most of the experience.

2. Get to know your team

Getting to know the people around you will help you in your role. Invest time with people in the company on company socials and find out more about them and their successes within the company. Don’t openly compete with new colleagues – this could jeopardise your place there. Listen to everyone – you can always learn something new.

3. Learn and embrace the culture

Sharing the same values with your employer and the people you work with is important. Getting to know what the company stands for (if you don’t know already) should be one of the first things you do in a new job. Learning about the people and the business will soon help you develop an understanding of the culture – something which you are now part of.

4. Ask for feedback

You should be having regular one to one meetings with your manager or department manager, so ask them how they think you’re doing. They should be able to give you some constructive feedback to help you improve and thrive in your new position.  If you’re not having one to ones, ask people how you’re doing and in what areas you can improve. Not only will feedback reassure you that you’re doing well, but it will also provide you with things you can work on and improve.  Constant improvement is crucial to success in any position.

5. Communicate

You don’t need to be a chatterbox but getting to know your team does include a little chatting. Stop and listen to what people have to say – this will enable you to get to know everyone and the company culture better.

6. Stay fresh and positive

Your motivation within these first 6 months will be when you are your most motivated ever. Keep note of ideas and revisit these at other times during your time in the company.  Keep away from office politics and gossip as this will lead you to have negative opinions on the company.

7. Maintain energy

You’ll probably be very busy during your first 6 months at the company but don’t burn yourself out.  Don’t work out of hours too much – your work life is separate from your personal one so minimise the temptation to merge the two. Maintaining your energy will help you keep your work ethic consistent.

8. Have fun

Have fun at work and it won’t seem like work.  Staying positive will help you keep your enthusiasm up for longer. Take part in work socials and embrace where you work.  If the company you work at isn’t very social organise something outside of work with your team yourself.  Spending time with your team outside of work will help with getting to know your team in an informal environment.

9. Think like the boss

Your intentions with the company must be the same as the boss you work for. Stay positive, be inquisitive and work hard.

Summary

Focus hard on ensuring you learn all the company processes that you will need while employed by them – be a person who helps make the company more effective rather than one who causes issues for others around you. Don’t try to do other people’s jobs for them but DO work to ensure you are not making your colleagues roles more challenging than they need to be.

Some people “make the boat go faster” others “are simply a drag on the boats progress”

Make sure you are a net contributor – an asset not a liability!!

If there are decisions to be made make sure you do “the right thing” – unless you have a psychological problem, you know what the right thing to do is – all you have to do is do it.

 Paul Rayner, CEO.