Most of us can agree, that your first few weeks in a new job can be exciting, yet also incredibly unnerving. Finding your feet in a new IT job comes with a mixture of feelings as you adjust to different expectations, new workplace relationships and unfamiliar processes. There are ways of making this settling in period more comfortable and ensuring the relationship with your new employer gets off to a great start. If you’re about to start afresh, take a look at our advice to settling into a new job.
Make the Handover Count
It is common for new employees to have a handover period (if you’re lucky, with your predecessor in the position) which can stretch between a few days to a week, or longer. Make the most of this time, as it is key to getting an in-depth handle on the new role, and also understanding the company as a whole. Ensure you are taking notes and writing down the key details. Keep track of information such as names, tasks, little tricks that could come in handy along the way, and important knowledge about the company. Because there is so much going on in the first few weeks of starting a new job, key pieces of information can be easily forgotten.
While a handover is an excellent opportunity to get an in-depth view of your new job and company, be wary of the insights given to you by predecessors. Remember that they are leaving their role and/or the company, so you may experience something completely different. Therefore, keeping an open mind and forming your own judgements as you settle in, is a good idea.
Building relationships with colleagues, key stakeholders and even “gatekeepers” can have an immensely positive effect on settling in with a new company. While it is sometimes easy to spend the first few weeks in a new role “watching and learning” – it’s important to take a proactive approach and start building solid relationships. This can be done through taking an interest in colleagues (and their specific work styles), learning about key stakeholders and getting to know the “gatekeepers” like EAs and PAs. Most companies have social events such as Friday drinks or social clubs, so it is a good idea to join in (especially in the first few weeks) and get to know your colleagues in an informal setting. Outside the office, people tend to be more relaxed – it’s often the perfect time to get to know colleagues more, without the pressures of the workplace.
Understand the New Culture
Culture and office environment can have a massive impact on deciding whether to take a job within a new company or not, so getting to know it more will help you adapt. When you first start, it is really important to take a keen interest in understanding the company culture and how people engage with each other both internally and externally.
Joining a new work environment means you may possibly be bringing a fresh perspective, which could give you an opportunity to make improvements or suggestions to the culture. Do be wary, though – to avoid giving the wrong impression, make sure you have fully absorbed everything before making any suggestions!
Build Rapport With the Boss
Having a good relationship with your new boss is one of the key elements to settling in and adapting to a new role. In previous positions, you may have had a great relationship with your manager and worked well under their management style – but everyone is different, so you’ll likely need to adapt to a new way of doing things. Move forward and take the time to understand how your new boss operates. Look out for clues in their communication style. Do they like emails, memos or face-to-face meetings? Are they interested in the finer details, or do they prefer a higher level, broad overview? Although they’ll most likely be organised on your behalf, regular meetings are a great way to build the relationship and get a firm understanding of what’s required.
As it’s often outside your comfort zone, adapting and settling in to a new company can bring an influx of nerves and emotions. From day one, staying positive and setting clear and achievable goals for yourself can help you focus on making your mark in a new environment. Take time in these first few days to sit down (often these will be outlined by your manager) and set goals for what needs to be achieved within the next three months and for the future, as well as a plan to continually improve. This will be a great document to refer to in future stages to ensure you are on track and help improve efficiency down the track.
The success of this critical period lies with how it is approached – therefore remain calm, patient and positive. Remember, there is always a grace period. Take advantage of this time and ask plenty of questions! After all, you’re not expected to know everything right from the get-go. Take in as much as you can from colleagues around you and start building those relationships. First impressions count, so offer your best self and then all there is left to do is deliver against those high expectations you set yourself.
If you would like any more advice on how to settle into a new job, or if you are in the market for IT jobs, get in touch with us, we would love to speak to you.