advertisement
advertisement

How to make a great first impression when you onboard for that new job

Executive coach Charlotte Lee reminds us that relationships are just as important as your work product, so build the right alliances right away.

How to make a great first impression when you onboard for that new job
[Photo: ljubaphoto/Getty Images]

You got the job and it starts in two weeks. Now what?  

advertisement
advertisement

Joining a new organization with its own culture and idiosyncratic and political drama can be daunting–but it need not be, with a little prep and practice. 

While some of your colleagues are focused on getting their jobs done, there’s a lot of other things you (and they) should be doing. Let’s face it, relationships are just as important as your work product. Building the right alliances and bridges helps you have an impact, obtain valuable feedback and support, learn more about the organization and its inner workings, and see the big picture beyond your small ecosystem. 

Here are some simple suggestions that everyone can implement. They will help you successfully onboard to your new job and help the role be fulfilling to you and valuable for them. They will also build your brand and your networking prowess. 

advertisement

Prepare

Read The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins. Speak with people who work or used to work at your new firm. Think about your last job: What could you have done better? 

Plan

Put your 90-day plan together. Put an org chart together with as many boxes as you can. When you meet with each of these colleagues, put a check in their box and one or two items you learned about them. 

Present

Be “present” at all times. Do not look at your cellphone in front of others–always have it on silent. Check your presentation skills. How is your eye contact? Does your voice sound confident? Is your body language reassuring? Remember, it is not only what you are saying, but how you are saying it. Smile. Use people’s names. 

advertisement

Personnel

Ask your manager for a list of team members with whom you should meet. Put a list of questions together to ask them. Make sure each question is tailored to their role and level.  

Personal

Share small things about you that make you come across as vulnerable, authentic, and warm. Pets, vacations, family life, hobbies, interests, sports are all fine. Nothing controversial, please. 

Pliable

Be flexible. If it is not in your job spec, but it would be helpful to your manager and team, do step it up and try not to worry about strict lines. Some items that need to be done may be out of your scope and certainly were not discussed during your interviews. Be flexible about helping out and say yes. It will have a big payback down the road. You may need to stay late when you least expect it, or come in early or work on a weekend. This won’t last forever, and it will be noticed by senior managers that you are agile, competent, and pleasant. 

advertisement

Promote

Remember to promote others when at work. When you receive accolades for a job well done, if there was anyone else involved, be sure to give them credit. On paper, in email, as well as verbally, like: “Thanks for your kudos. I could not have gotten his done without you.”

Persevere

Don’t give up if something goes sideways. Push through. Ask for help and advice. People love to give advice. And know that tomorrow will be another day and probably a much better one.  

Onboarding successfully into your new role sets you up for success long term. Remember, whatever did not go well last time does not matter. You are creating a new brand for yourself at this new job. You get to set the tone and develop the professional persona that you wish for and think will fit the culture of the new firm. Implementing strong onboarding strategies will get you noticed for the right things, help you get connected to the right internal team members, and get on better projects and/or promoted faster. 

advertisement

Charlotte Lee is an executive coach.


advertisement
advertisement
advertisement