September 28, 2020
The interviews were tough. The competition was fierce. You’ve finally landed the job and now it’s time to think about a plan to successfully integrate into your new team.
Industry experts believe that you have 90 days in a new job to make an impact and create a permanent impression. While that may not apply to every role you take, it is a best practice to lay out a 90-day plan that includes how to successfully assimilate into your new position, team and company.
Form positive relationships. Identify who your new colleagues are and start developing good communication habits to maintain those relationships (and others in your life). Be honest, open, friendly and reliable; be proactive – don’t wait for folks to come to you. You’ll want to begin building your own in-house rolodex. Cultivate relationships across all levels (below and above yours). Meet with the people who interviewed you. You may want to use this time to review what they communicated to you about the role during the interview process and fill in any gaps. Clarify what they think are top priorities for your new role; ask them about key stakeholders as well as successful performers in similar roles – you’ll then have more individuals to meet with. You can review these findings with your manager who many have an additional perspective. You may also want to identify a mentor or trusted advisor to help you successfully navigate and adjust to the organization.
You’ll likely want to spend the first 30 days observing and listening. Control your urge to speak at every moment. You can keep a list of questions that you can review with your manager during a one-on-one meeting (which should be scheduled at a regular cadence) or with an identified mentor/colleague. For those of you active on social media, you’ll want to check with your company’s policy before posting anything about your new role and/or the firm.
Clarify your expectations. A new role will require a ramp-up and a learning period – be realistic about your role and responsibilities, goals and working hours so you don’t set a precedent by coming in early, staying late and working all weekend.
Be responsive. This is something that is a general good practice of successful and admired people. If you receive an email with a question and don’t know an answer, don’t wait days to respond until you do. You can simply respond with an acknowledgement and receipt within 24 hours. Some requests will receive higher priority than others – when in question, work with your boss to identify that order.
Collaborate with peers. Seize opportunities to partner with employees and provide recognition and sincere praise to others when warranted. Don’t be in a consumption-only mode around your professional relationships.
Build connections even when remote. More people are working virtual than ever before. In a remote environment, it’s even more important to develop strong relationships and communicate habits; provide timely responses, stay visible and proactively reach out and schedule meetings. Virtual “coffee-chats” are also a good way to get to know someone on a more human level.
Remember that you won’t be the first or last new team member to join the firm. Eventually you’ll know what you need to work on and who you have to work with to master your tasks. And fairly soon, you’ll become a trusted advisor for someone new joining the organization.