A change of job or role can come with a mixed bag of emotions. Whether it’s with a new organisation, a new team, or a completely different sector or industry to your previous one, it’s understandable if you are really excited to get stuck in but equally overwhelmed with the ‘newness’ of it all.
If you’re wondering what else you can do beyond the basics of researching everything you can about your new company/role, figuring out your commute (if applicable), familiarising yourself with the policies and getting your IT all set up, we’ve compiled a list of 10 suggestions for how to confidently transition into your new role.
- Introduce Yourself
It may seem obvious but taking it upon yourself to actively engage with your new colleagues will go a long way in establishing your presence and starting off on the right foot. Making a conscious effort to introduce yourself to people, as well as get to know them will signify that you’re confident and eager to forge genuine relationships.
- View Your Onboarding as a Journey
It’s important not to place unrealistic expectations on yourself, as this can exacerbate feelings of overwhelm. There’s no getting around it, settling into a new role takes time. The first few months will likely consist of meeting new colleagues - learning their names and roles, learning new processes, using new software, and understanding the nuances of your function. Do your best but remember to be kind to yourself and trust the process - no one is expecting you to absorb everything overnight.
- Ask All the Questions
Following on from the above point, asking questions is a really helpful way to learn about your new job. Not only is it a fail-proof way to avoid making assumptions, it also shows a willingness to learn and understand.
- Keep Notes
In the midst of information overload, it’s easy to forget key details, so make sure you always have a pen and notebook close by. Whether it’s a name, suggested reading, information about the company, something you hear in a meeting that you’d like to know more about, or a task that’s been given to you - be sure to write it down. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!
- Take Time to Familiarise Yourself
In the first few weeks of starting your new job, make sure you take the time to familiarise yourself with various aspects of the company/new team. If you’re going into the office, make sure you get the lay of the land and understand your physical environment. In terms of technology, there may be new software that you’re unfamiliar with, in which case it can help to try it out and get yourself acquainted. There may be a central hub where shared folders are kept, in which case you may want to have a look around those folders and familiarise yourself with where to find information most relevant to you.
- Build Trust and Respect
Fully immersing yourself in your new job and all that comes with it from day one will inspire confidence in your new colleagues and build trust. Some of the best ways to do this is by accepting and attending meeting invites, offering your assistance and insight where possible and demonstrating that you’re a team player, delivering on your word, completing tasks by the agreed upon deadline, and participating in group discussions.
- Set Healthy Boundaries
Fully immersing yourself, however, does not mean setting an unsustainable work standard. As much as you want to go above and beyond to impress your new team, especially in the early days, it’s good to have your workplace boundaries in mind and to implement them as early as possible. Boundaries are important for your mental health and wellbeing and are what will protect you from burnout. Sure, there will be occasions where you’ll have to make exceptions but try to stick within your boundaries as much as possible because if you don’t respect them, others won’t either.
- Avoid Workplace Politics
By ‘reading the room’, it probably won’t take long to figure out the different relationship dynamics within your new team and wider organisation. As a newbie, you get to start your role with a clean slate, which means you get to forge relationships based on your own assessments. Building and enjoying friendships within your workplace is a wonderful thing, and sometimes a bit of ‘venting’ to one another can be healthy and supportive, but try to steer clear of any gossip, rumour spreading, or taking sides in any conflicts – should these arise.
- Set Personal Goals
Setting personal goals is a really great way of pacing yourself within a rational, well thought out plan, rather than swaying into unrealistic territory. For example, you can give yourself a date by which you’ll know everyone’s names and roles, have established a heathy work routine, finished a specific training, or fully understand a specific process. These goals will keep you accountable to yourself and also help you track, and celebrate, your progress.
- Keep a List of Accomplishments
It can be easy for your first few months of work to disappear from memory in blur. So, it’s always a good idea to start and keep a working document of all your accomplishments and value-adds from the day you begin. This document can also include positive feedback that you’ve received form colleagues, as well as any tasks and contributions that you’ve made to projects that you’re proud of. This will come in handy for your performance review/probation review, and also give yourself a sense of pride and accomplishment.