I just got a new job and I'm a bit nervous about starting in a new environment with new people and new responsibilities. Can you share some insight on what I can do to make a good first impression and ultimately ensure my long term success?
Thanks Lynn, this is an important question because we are all faced with being in a new environment many times throughout our career. It's important that we master the skills to integrate ourselves into our new roles as seamlessly as possible. The first 30 days can set the pace for our longer term success, so it's critical that we make a positive impact as soon as practical. I should note that this approach works whether you’re a manager or an individual contributor.
So here are 5 things you can do in the first 30 days to make a lasting impact. Observe, integrate, assist, identify, ease.
1. Observe - Take some time to get familiar with not just your surroundings but the work dynamics within your environment. Who's doing what? Who are the key players? How are they interacting with each other? It’s critical that you understand the game before you jump in to play your hand. Additionally, resist the urge to make quick judgments on what’s wrong or what you can do to fix it.
2. Integrate - Get to know the team you are working with. Go out of your way to introduce yourself, and let people get to know you a bit. It's easy to say, "WOW, people here aren't very friendly," but bear in mind that they aren't new, and they are already familiar with what they need to get done. It's your job to go out of your way to get to know them and to get to know the process.
3. Assist - Find a way to be of service to others. Be helpful and genuinely care about the success of those around you whether they will work with you directly or not. Integration is much easier when you lead with good will. Don’t allow your introduction to come the first time you need something.
“Good things happen when our integrity and good will precede our arrival.” – Gerry Toledo
4. Identify the pain points. - Look for areas where you can add efficiency or where the process can be improved. Ask yourself, “What are the obstacles my team is dealing with?” “What are people complaining about that when eliminated, would make their lives easier?” Create a list and prioritize it.
5. Ease the pain - Go through your list of pain points and find some low lying fruit. Something that would solve a real problem, but the solution can be implemented quickly. What you are looking for is something that will make a quick impact to the team, while providing you with a quick win.
There are three reasons why this quick win is critical within the first 30 days;
1. Solves a real problem.
2. Creates trust and credibility in you and your abilities.
3. Eases your mind and boosts your confidence right out of the gate. Getting a couple of quick victories under your belt gives you the confidence, the momentum and the support to tackle the really big issues.
We all want to make a good first impression with our boss and with our team, but it’s important that we don’t try to solve world hunger on the first day. It’s important to solve problems, but we must ensure we are solving the right problems and the most important problems. We can’t know what the right problems are without first observing and getting to know the people we work with, especially those deep down in the trenches. We also need to ensure that our team and our peers know that we are here to assist and be part of the solution, not to gain favor with our boss or acquire new territory.
"Sometimes we can make the biggest and quickest impact, by pausing to be more deliberate in our execution." – Gerry Toledo
Do you agree? Let me know your secret for a quicker impact.