26 May 2022
New Jobs, New Start - Career Strategies Series #10
Subscribe to our newsletter. Enter your details below.
You’ve accepted your new role. How can you make an immediate impact?
Congratulations, you’ve been chosen above all other applicants and can be fully justified in feeling proud. A demanding role awaits and you need to be well-prepared to thrive from the very start.
It’s vital to get off on the right foot and make a positive impact from the outset – especially during remote working and managing. There’s plenty you’ll need to think about as you make your transition into a new organisation.
How to get off to a flying start and onboard remotely
You’re likely to be starting your new role with some element of remote working. It’s a new world we’ve been adjusting to. We interviewed three people who were recently appointed to senior roles. A common thread among them was the commitment to having one-to-one remote meetings with everyone on their wider teams. Here’s their advice on remote onboarding:
“I’ve found pushing on open doors a good strategy. I look for ‘honorary’ team members who are inquisitive and have a passion for my channel among either top or emerging talent and build this focus into their professional development plans. It becomes part of their role.
I work on building a plan that’s easy to articulate and has buy-in from the top. When it’s talked about credibly, word spreads and interest and momentum build. I came from a team of almost 50. I know it’s the people on the ground who make things work, not leaders!
One of the first things I did was identify anyone who has anything to do with my area. I connected through half-day sessions so they could get to know me, shared initial plans, heard from other markets and introduced rhythm + routine. This spreads connection with key people in business. I overinvest in meetings, but it pays.”
“I was deliberate about taking the extra five minutes wherever I could to have a chat. I made a big effort to be open, to converse. There are no chats in the kitchen or canteen so you need to be proactive. I asked for help, checked with colleagues: What’s the dynamic here? Is there history on this project I should know about? People know stuff, the legacy. You have to ask.
Coming into a senior role doesn’t mean you have a monopoly on wisdom. You don’t know anyone here which means you need to ask for guidance and help. And I’ve found people have been hugely helpful and supportive. I’m definitely looking forward to being back in the office though. Five minutes while getting a cup of tea can be worth 20 emails!”
“In the first ten days I did 40 1-hour zoom calls with people all over the organisation. At all levels, all functions. One-to-one calls. I made a conscious decision that I wanted to connect with people immediately. It made a big statement to people that it was top of my agenda to get to know them and their views. This gave me invaluable insight into business and our people, a real plus. Even though they were at home, they could see I was on site and I showed my commitment to connect as genuinely as I possibly could.”
Insights from your interview
En route to being offered your role, you probably went through a stringent interview process and may well have completed a range of psychometric tests. If you were appointed through an executive search firm, arrange to meet with the Partner involved in your appointment.
He or she will have a keen insight into how you performed during the interview(s), notably, the areas in which you most strongly impressed the panel, and conversely, any areas where the panel felt they may have compromised.
The search firm Partner should also be able to provide you with in-depth feedback from your psychometric tests. Utilise this valuable information when formulating your own personal development plan.
Set your own objectives
Alongside the official targets set by your new employer, take some time to set out your own objectives within the role. When drawing these up, factor in your motivations for this move and what future opportunities your new role presents.
Consider also how you want to be perceived within the organisation and how to set about conveying that. What is the best way to get to know the team and wider organisation in detail? Are remote or in-person one-to-one meetings enough? Should you schedule follow-up meetings with key people?
Do you need to arrange site visits?
Clarity regarding your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential. Make sure you agree upfront what in particular is expected from your appointment. Your targets should be clearly defined and measurable. Moreover, there should be no ambiguity with respect to the timeframe or time commitment involved for delivery.
Key people to know
Identify the key stakeholders within the organisation. Take the trouble to understand their backgrounds, the manner in which their role interlinks with yours and how you might build constructive relationships with these influential people.
Also, spend time getting to know the team you’re leading/joining. What are their strengths? In what areas do they need further support? What changes would you like to make? Are you confident about tackling this on your own? Or could you benefit from external leadership consulting advice or personal coaching? It’s an area where we can certainly help and offer advice.
Your arrival in the role is a fresh beginning – a clean slate both for you and your team. Use meetings as an opportunity for mindful listening. Hear what is being said and listen carefully for the nuances. Then think about what you’ve heard and how it impacts your ability to deliver. Delay any action until you’ve thought through the consequences.
As leadership author Tony Robbins puts it, “Stay committed to your decisions but stay flexible in your approach.”
We wish you the best of luck in your new role, but in the words of a top golfer “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Furthering the accolades that got you to this point will bring you to your next pinnacle.
Check out the other insightful articles in our Career Strategies series.
To shorten the odds of landing the executive position you want, start your search now and check out our advertised opportunities here.
Strategies for an Intentional and Successful Career Move Booklet 2022
In this Career Strategies Series, we take you through all the essential elements you need in planning your next move.Download now