Saturday August 4, 2012
Starting a new job means needing to have a strategy of attack
By HUGH UJHAZY
BEGINNING a new job is not something that happens every day. Getting off on the right foot requires planning. Reflecting what you have learned about the role from interviews and research, put together a plan of attack for the first six months in the position. This plan should have the following elements:
·What the role is.
·What the company is all about especially the group you will work with.
·How you will approach the role.
These three things are invaluable as you come on board.
A friend recently accepted a position with a growing multi-national software company.
The role asked that he build a team, hire talented people and work to support the marketing and public relations aspects of the company on a global basis. He was excited about the job, a little apprehensive at the challenge and vague about the exact role he would play.
During his first week, his boss came to town. They discussed how the role and the group would pan out.
Lacking a plan for the first six months, my friend struggled to put together an approach, something his boss was clearly looking for.
Any manager is looking for expertise and attitude in the people they hire. Expertise is relatively easy to come by but attitude is rare. That’s why they hired you. Apply your skills to the role and put together a plan. This makes your boss’ job easier as they can help to refine and tune the plan rather than facing a blank piece of paper.
Look at any advertised job position and the same words will reoccur. Good communication skills, computer skills, ability to speak in public — all these might show up. What does this really mean as far as the job itself?
In this situation, the best defence in a strong offence. Regardless of the role, Forming that plan can be done through the following:
·Research the group you work with — if you haven’t already done so, research the company you will work for and the people you will work with. Find them on LinkedIn, Google them, search for them in news announcements.
Research any announcements from the team you will be working with; look for any other job positions being advertised in the team you will be working with.
·Based on what you heard during the interview, look for the key points that were emphasised. What was expected of the role, what challenges were the interviewers talking about, what programme was outlined to help you get up to speed?
·Manage the interview. From all you have learned about the company, the position and the people who will interview you, put together a list of questions. Five to six questions is a good number. When you reach the moment in the interview when the interviewer asks you “Any questions for me?”, use one or two to get a perspective on the company from an insider.
·Build a calendar of the first few weeks on the job. Add anything you may have been told by HR or in any communications from the company or in the offer documents including induction training, familiarisation with the company and anything your new boss may have mentioned including meetings, conference calls or discussions relating to your new role.
·Define your approach. Think about the areas you need to work with, the problems discussed during interviews. Write down a list of 10 things you would like to achieve in the first six month in order of importance and list the functions you need to achieve each of the things on your list
The plan doesn’t have to be pretty — it can be a series of notes and ideas. It will help shape your thinking about the role and prepare you for that meeting with the boss.
When your new boss asks “What do we do first?” you will be prepared.
Not all jobs offer the latitude to develop a plan and define your role. However, every employer looks for keen, motivated and capable people. Someone who engages with the organisation, looks for opportunities to make things better for everyone is an asset.
Use the time between jobs to put the plan together and the new job will be rewarding and fun.