3 tips for starting a new job
August 2020 will always be special to me, as it marks the transition from a job in the advertising agency industry to an exciting new one at Denmark’s leading business newspaper, Børsen. In this new role, I am a part of Børsen’s Ad & Partner Sales – a function that seeks to help advertisers generate results through commercial solutions such as Native Advertising. With this exciting new chapter comes brand new experiences, which – if they are approached correctly – can benefit both me and my new employer. So how exactly does one create a platform for success when starting a new job? I will take you through some of my learnings.
In this article you will get:
Tips to broaden out your internal network – setting yourself up for success in driving projects across the organization
A perspective on how you can provide your employer with added value, as you represent a fresh pair of eyes to critically assess the business, processes, and culture
A mindset to adopt in confronting new (and difficult) objectives
A new role
As Campaign Advisor at Børsen, I advise marketing professionals on how to achieve their goals through Børsen’s platforms. The advisory is centered around digital offerings – with native advertiser-paid articles as the in-demand product – to make sure that campaigns are holistic and strategically adequate.
With the background brief done, we can move into the three aspects to consider, when starting a new role.
Establish your network across the organization
My first tip is to invest in people. The first 30-90 days usually proceed with getting up to speed on your work responsibilities and colleagues. In an onboarding process, most managers will help you get started by setting up initial meetings with the right people, but I challenge you to go further and seek out other people in your organization.
It’s easy for me to say – networking is not the easiest of disciplines – but as a natural introvert myself, I know that it is a skill that can be learned through practice. Start small: Invite people from across the organization to meetings where you can introduce yourself and they get to talk about what they do. The simple key is to be curious and to ask questions.
Once you feel more comfortable, you can participate in or even invite people to activities within or outside work hours. Whether it is a beer after work, a common interest in Premier League fixtures, or a bike ride on a Sunday, it will give you added value in your new role.
The benefit of your investment becomes immediate, when projects with multiple internal stakeholders start to roll, as you have gotten to know people. Knowing people, their competencies, profile and how they work will (more often than not) benefit the productivity in a project which affects the project outcome, which in turn makes the client happy. A win, win, win. Simple as that.
Be a professional stranger
Being a new employee, you must remember that you represent an opportunity for the employer to get valuable insight into their way of doing business. With you onboard, they can get a second look into the culture and the things that are often being taken for granted by the current employees.
No critique of them. They are and should be heavily engaged with everyday deliveries. They have seen the presentation template a million times before and is, therefore, not questioning the looks of it or the message it conveys.
That’s just an example. It might be a well-established process (or the lack thereof), which seems somewhat obvious to you, but not to your colleagues. And this is where the value lies. They are deeply embedded in the culture, you’re not. They take things for granted, you don’t.
In cultural theory, this is often referred to as a professional stranger – someone who comes into the organization, observers, asks questions, and generally sees things in a different light.
In practice, this means that you should simply write down your observations and look for a few tendencies. What are you seeing and how could you improve it with the knowledge you have?
Just as a professional anthropologist would observe people from a foreign culture to learn, you should find things in the organizational environment that stands out. Your best tool in doing so – especially if you want to dig deeper into the ways of things – is (again) to ask questions and then ask some more questions.
Collect your findings in a report of some sort. Whether your observations are centered around your organization’s customer journey or the synergies between different silos, management will appreciate the free input from someone who is not biased by your organization’s way of doing things.
Jump into deep water and learn how to swim
Advancing in your career is without a doubt associated with enormous joy and excitement to progress and develop yourself further. However, a new job is a change of circumstances, which can be daunting, associated with risk and you can begin to question your competencies. While this is very common, my advice would be to adopt an open mindset.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
Yes, you can embarrass yourself in front of your colleagues – but aren’t they the ones you should be close enough with to develop great solutions? It’s human to show flaws – an even something that makes you more trustworthy.
Yes, you can get questions that you’re unable to answer. But then just return on the matter. There’s always someone smarter, so why not see it as an opportunity to learn and become better?
Remember that you – with your background and experiences – have a lot to offer yourself. So get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and learn how to swim. Try it – I dare you.