Preparing for your new role – Essential Tips

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”

Bobby Unser

I’m sure we all recall our school days and during the summer holidays we’d have that one day when we were taken to get our new school uniform, shoes and stationery. I usually ended up in WHS struggling to choose between the many latest trends in pencil cases… I found myself reminiscing back to these times during my recent visit to town to equip my children with new pencil cases and highlighters.

I must admit I did also pick up a few bits for myself as I recently had the exciting opportunity of starting a new role in a new company… the perfect excuse for some new stationery.

I find transitioning to a new role in new company is such an informative experience for me as a Comms professional and I find careful preparation makes all the difference in those initial weeks.

We’ve all been there…

You find yourself in a new environment with new colleagues and stakeholders, all with new company values, culture and business focus. So what can you do to maximise your potential in those first few weeks.

New pencil case and shoes

New job…and we’ve all made preparations and I bet quite a few of us have even bought new shoes and maybe a new pencil case.

Pencil case filled with new tools.

Not only did I have a new pen and note pad and highlighters, I was equipped with valuable knowledge of my new employer.

I made time throughout the recruitment process to study the company’s business strategy, values and people. I read the last few annual reports, recent articles in trade publications, posts on LinkedIn and other employee’s comments on social accounts.

By day one I had a good idea of what really mattered to my new employer and fellow employees, I had a good understanding of the team dynamic, who my new stakeholders were going to be and yes, I had my new Orla Kiely pen and highlighters.

New shoes only fit well once worn in.

As a professional I have always taken the approach that I will never ‘know it all’ and with this in mind I am on a continual quest to further knowledge. Having researched my new employers and what is important to them, I did a GAP analysis on myself to determine any additional skills I could get under my belt before day one.

I attended a couple of one-day courses that focused on the areas that I had learnt were important for my new role and did quite a bit of targeted reading to support this approach.

OK yes, I bought new shoes and yes I had ‘worn them in’ to avoid spending the latter half of first day one in agony with blisters. Me and my new shoes where ready for day one.

The right recruiter

Did they match you well? Are you right for the job and the culture?

If you have been lucky enough to enter your new company through a great recruiter, they will have supported you through every stage of selection, interviews and they will know your new company and line manager very well.

They will have equipped you with valuable insight on the company strategy, values, your new line manager and the team or department you will be joining. It is in the recruiter’s best interest to prepare you well, after all you will be a reflection of their recruiting skills when you start.

Your compatibility to the role and the company values/culture will have been scrutinised throughout the interview process and if you have been offered the role, you should be confident in your skills and personality fit… Time to shine!

A quick digital tip of the hat to the recruiter ‘Stopgap’ who helped place me in my current role.

Day one

  • New shoes fitting well – the right skills and comfortable leather
  • Pencil case full of the right tools – company strategy, values, focus and a new pen.
  • Confidence in the recruitment process – thorough, open and honest.
  • Cupcakes and candy… my first day also happened to also be my birthday so I arrived with cup-cakes and candy.

Additional preparations for the new role.

The commute – I did a couple of trial commutes to gauge the time it would take at different times of the morning. This was a worthwhile exercise as I found the ‘sweet-spot’ time to set off.

The tech –  Those who know me are well aware it’s ‘Apple before Android’ with me and I have my favourite Comms apps.

Outline – I’ve tried all the note apps and this by far, is the best in my opinion. I’ll review my favourite apps in a future post.

Google Alerts – set up an alert for mentions of your new employer/company.

Audible – as someone who prefers audible over paper reading ‘The first 90 days’ by Michael Watkins is one of the better books I’ve ‘read…listened to’ when planning those essential first few weeks.

First month – As a Comms professional, conducting a channel audit is high on my list as well as getting out and about to all my stakeholders and those top table meetings.

If you are currently seeking a new role, or have secured one, all the best, embrace the process.You may feel like a fish out of water but being on a new learning curve is great opportunity to grow and develop personally and professionally.

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