So it is Sunday night and you are starting work at your new job tomorrow and you are wondering what it is going to be like?
Here are a few helpful guidelines on how to survive your first few weeks in your new job!
LEAVE YOUR PAST BEHIND
Whatever mistakes you have made in your previous career, you are leaving them behind. However you behaved is in the past. Your new employer will be looking at how you behave to judge you afresh. If you are the bright enthusiastic superstar winner, who goes the extra mile, they will take that as what you are like. Think of how you want to be perceived and start living it. Positive, energetic, enthusiastic, interested, supportive, helpful and hard working.
I managed someone for about 3 years, he was late everyday by between 15 and 30 minutes, it drove me mad. About 6 months after he left I was talking to his new boss and I jokingly asked “So, how is Vish’s time keeping” and he said “Great! He is first in everyday”. He had left his past behind and his new boss didn’t even know what I was talking about.
So, starting a new job is your chance to “reap what you sow”.
As any manager knows getting people in on time is the most tedious, irritating, most repetitive task a manager has to do. Make sure you are on time everyday, or you could be turning yourself into the scapegoat that your new boss has been looking for. I know one company that fired a new employee on the third day because she was late twice.
WHAT SORT OF COMPANY IS IT?
Smaller and younger companies tend to shaped by the founders and key directors. If you are going from an Accountant led company to a sales led one you need to be prepared.
If you are joining a company that is run by an ex-salesman then make sure you pass the leads on, keep the CRM up to date, take an interest in the “sales pipeline” and approach any client meeting as an opportunity to find more business.
If you are joining a company run by an ex accountant, square your expenses properly, get the mileage absolutely right, fill out your time sheet as you would your wedding anniversary card, dot your I’s and cross your T’s.
If you are joining a company that is run by an Ex-teckie then find out if they hate Bill, Larry, Steve or McNally, and don’t slag off the wrong company! Make sure your specifications are easy to follow, your support dockets properly filed and you follow the release management procedure properly.
It can be a surprise to find a company with a different aspect, so make sure your have your antennae up to figure out what is what.
Your new company may be doing some strange things, and some of their business process may be a mess, they might even be doing really odd things with software and hardware. This could be your opportunity to bring them into 2008 and show them what a superstar you are, or it could be the MD/IT Manager/your new boss, has some weird and spooky pet projects. Look before you leap!
Always be very careful of people who have moved from one department into IT within the same company, often they know how a company or department really functions, rather than how it should. If you are going to change the world, just make sure you have asked a few, “why, what, where, when, which and how” questions before you leap in.
LOOK THE PART!
Your first few weeks are probably not the best opportunity to try out the Dinosaur tie, the pink socks or the T-shirt that says “Who is Jack Schitt?”! To be safe, try and be the best dressed person in your department. Generally speaking nudity, fetish clothing and white disco suits should be saved until after your probationary period!
From my experience the way companies support their own dress codes is often extraordinary and it normally comes from the top. I has an employer who had specific rules about what shorts the men could wear on casual day. Just be careful, because you might be upsetting the big cheese without even knowing it.
Remember that you were hired (almost certainly) for your technical skills and background; make sure you prove your technical ability. If you made anything up in the interview, then make sure you remember what you made up and buy a book!
A new job is like new shoes, they need wearing in, before you get the floating on a puffy cloud feeling. If you were with your previous company for many years, then you probably knew the company, staff, procedures, way of life, inside out.
Remember it will take some time to settle in and know your way around. It is possible that your arrival may put some people’s noses out of joint, or that you have better technical skills than some, or that you just feel left out.
Ask questions if you are unsure, be pleasant and friendly to everyone, don’t show off – and allow people to get used to you. Change can be hard for your new team too.
Most importantly be as cheerful, positive and optimistic as possible. Like every manager, the person who hired you wants an easy run, they want someone who is:
LEARNING THE JOURNEY
If you are going to be driving to the same place everyday find a large map of the area, and stick it onto a piece of cardboard, the bigger the better. (I know it sounds Blue Peters but…) then you can see all the possible options, main roads, side roads, motorways and cut-throughs. This has worked especially well in London. Whenever you try a different route it is much easier to get the overview of your route. I have found that this method of learning the journey if the fastest way to becoming a local expert. And there is nothing worse than taking the wrong route for 3 months and the realising you could have saved 30 minutes everyday!
If you are joining in a consulting role, you will probably be going out on site and there is every possibility you are going to get the worst location ever. 6 months at Selafield in a Nuclear fall out suit! Grin and bear it, try and be as optimistic as possible, don’t moan every time you talk to your boss. Try and find out when the next decent project starts, then try to get agreement that if you manage to finish on time, and to budget you can get onto the one you want.
Most importantly remember to tell them how fabulous Ambrose Resourcing are!