Five tips on starting a new job as a mid-career professional - Deepstash
Navigate Office Politics

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Navigate Office Politics

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Starting A New Job At Mid Career

Bill thought he’d never leave the comfortable job he’d enjoyed for the past decade. But when another company reached out to him with an offer, it was so intriguing that he took the job.

Then the fear set in because he hadn’t started a new job in 10 years. He read The First 90 Days and learned he needed to make an impact fast, so he immediately started trying to solve problems.

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Not Really A Good Start

Two weeks into his new job, Bill had already solved a problem — his first win (?).

But he was noticing his coworkers were standoffish. His boss causally mentioned he needed to slow down but didn’t tell him complaints were coming in about his work approach and style.

Bill didn’t realize his first win wasn’t actually about accomplishing a goal — it was about how he accomplished his work.

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So what to do?

The first weeks in a new job are when you make your first impression, and it’s hard to change people’s perceptions once they’re developed.

Here are five tips on how to transition into a new job, especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve made a move.

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1. Build Relationships

This is the most important priority when joining a new company. If you’ve been in a job for a long time, you may not realize how your relationships had a direct impact on your success. When building relationships, you’re building trust, and you can move faster when people trust in your decision-making.

First, be as curious about others and their work as they are of you as the “newbie.” Understanding your coworkers’ needs will start the relationship-building process, because your interest alone will leave your them feeling good about your entry.

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2. Dig deep into the business.

When you enter a new company, you probably don’t know much about it except what you’ve read to prepare for interviews. Your new colleagues will view you as someone who knows nothing about the business. Spend time learning about the company and its culture.

Find out: How does the company make revenue? What products does it sell? How do the products work? What are the quarterly and yearly goals? What metrics are used to measure the company’s success and substantiate its growth? Where is the company headed in the next three to five years?

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3. Understand how others perceive your job.

While building relationships and learning about the company, also ask questions about how others perceive your job to understand their expectations of you, your role, and your overall function.

Often, in a Company every one of your stakeholders have a different expectation of your role, and one leader had no idea how he viewed your role or how you could use your skills to bring value to his organization.

You would have to spend time aligning everyone on what your role is and isn’t so you could meet their expectations.

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4. Learn dependencies.

Understand dependencies and cross-functional workflows to determine who needs something from you and what you depend on to be able to provide it.

Who are you providing work output to, and how do your cross-functional stakeholders use it?

Ask your manager who are the top 10 cross-functional people your team interacts with.

Then, spend time understanding how they view the workflows between the functions and what they need from your role to be successful. Understand the timing of workflows so you can meet deadlines and provide the most value with your work. 

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5. Give yourself time.

People take jobs and want to feel connected instantly, but that doesn’t always happen. It’s hard to onboard in any new company and can be even harder to onboard remotely.

Give yourself grace to move through the Kübler-Ross change curve — at first you’ll be excited, then shocked at what may be different or harder in the new job, and then in denial that it’s that different, which can quickly turn into frustration.

Each person moves through the curve at a different pace, so be patient, breathe, and try to find one person to connect with if you’re not already paired with a mentor.

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Finally...

The best way to work through all of these steps is to listen more than you speak and phrase every thought in the form of a question. For example, if you’re in a meeting and you have a great idea, you could say, “I think we should do this.”

Instead, phrase your input in the form of a question, like, “I’m curious, have we tried to do this?” If you’re wrong because it failed in the past, you’ll be educated on history and viewed as someone trying to learn. If it has never been tried before and could work, your curiosity makes you a hero.

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CURATED BY

pietroblu

Geologist PhD, happy father (of 3), #science #teacher, #ed #tech & #geomatics blogger... and #runner - 'Technology is about benefits, not devices' (A. Chitnis)

CURATOR'S NOTE

I've often thought to change my job, or simply propose myself as a freelance, and these advices illuminated me

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