Once the first few weeks of excitement and learning have passed it is common for new starters to feel disillusioned that this isn't their dream job after all. It can be difficult to get a grip on the company culture, what the role is made up of on a daily basis and who are the best people to build relationships with leaving you feeling isolated and unsure.
Companies should always have a thorough on-boarding process in place to ensure employees can settle quickly and allow them to show off the skills they were hired for in the first place. However, by taking control of your integration you maximise your opportunities to settle in and excel from the beginning.
From the outset, networking should be your focus. As you learn what the role involves it is important to build relationships with teams you will be working with internally as well externally. Find out who to go to with queries or who is the best person to speak to about a certain type of project. Make yourself known to senior managers when appropriate. It can be easy to focus on building a relationship with your direct manager and team mates however as time goes on, it will be your wider network that you are likely to collaborate with on projects and tasks. This will also put you in a very strong position when it comes to supporting career progression within the company as your contributions will be recognised by a much larger pool of people. Building a wide network also helps deepen your understanding of the business as you learn what others do and how this connects with your role to achieve the company objectives. From the outset you are showing yourself as a strategic thinker who is consciously contributing to the business.
Don’t be scared to suggest ideas from the beginning. You have a fresh pair of eyes to look over systems and processes so if you think of improvements, or opportunities not being fully utilised, speak up. They may not all be taken forward by your manager or the company, but it becomes clear that you are creative and analytical with an ability to look at the big picture. It also helps show your enthusiasm for the role.
As much as you try it can be difficult to understand what tasks the role is made up of on a daily/weekly basis until you start. If, on starting at your new job, you find there are things that you enjoy which are not in your given tasks, ask to be involved with projects which encompass your interests or better yet, take the lead and develop a new channel or opportunity for the business. You get to tailor make the position to your strengths making it more satisfying for you, while raising your profile within the business and showing your value as a contributing team member.
Think about what will help you settle into your new position before you start and ask about these areas from the outset. You most likely fought hard to get this role over multiple interview rounds and by taking a few simple steps you can ensure it is the great opportunity you hoped for.
The fact is that if you want to excel in a new job, you can’t rely on your company’s onboarding process to prepare you. You need to take control of your integration.