How to orientate yourself in a new role
When your job search has been successful and you are about to start the job of your dreams. You are probably now wondering if you have overreached, will you be capable of fulfilling everything asked of you, can you do this?
Don’t worry; self doubt is normal, what you need is a plan to enable you to orientate yourself. How you do this will depend on the type of role, the seniority of the position, and the type of organisation you have joined. Here are some ideas for you to select from;-
You will probably have a formal induction that should cover all immediate practical information you need. If not, ask for it to be provided, maybe at a follow up meeting e.g. What is the fire drill procedure, what are office hours, where can you get lunch, what about car parking?
Then there are issues more personal to you, which you may need to discuss with your manager or HR contact. Equip yourself with a departmental organisation plan if there is one, and your own job specification and those of your direct reports. Get passwords and login details for email and any other systems you need to access.
It will be useful to see performance review files for your direct reports at some point, but to ask for them now may seem a little heavy handed , so use discretion about the timing of that request.
Then you need access to whatever departmental reports are used daily, weekly, monthly or annually. Perhaps you have an assistant or secretary, who may well have prepared a file for you. If not, ask them to do so.
Is the previous incumbent of the job available for a handover meeting? If not, get whatever information you can from your manager, peers, or staff.
How is the company doing, and within that how is your department doing, and specifically what are the issues and challenges you need to address in your role?
What is in your in-tray or email account? What are you expected to do, produce, manage, monitor or develop today, this week, or next week. What immediate deadlines do you need to meet?
Do you have time to do some research or do you need to “hit the ground running “now, and orientate yourself as you go.
What needs to go into your diary for the coming days and weeks? Are there Trade Fairs or meetings you need to attend, hotels and flights to be booked?
Are there any market intelligence reports you can get hold of? Is there a list of supply chain contacts? Have you worked with them before? Will they be of any assistance in discussing their relationship with your new company? Do your main suppliers and contacts have any market intelligence they are willing to share with you?
At this point it is more useful to listen than to talk. Everyone around you knows more about how this company works than you; you need to benefit from their experience before you start making important decisions and changing things. You may not agree with every opinion you hear at this point, but listen and evaluate before you start taking action.
Two eyes, two ears, one mouth. Use them in that proportion until you have a good understanding of the role, the company’s position, and your way forward.
Good Luck !