impress in your new role
So you’ve landed your dream job. You may have thought that the interview process was challenging but now the real work begins. You’ve got to deliver and quick. Gone are the days when a new job meant a casual honeymoon period for several weeks or months until your feet were well and truly under the table. Whilst firms treat probationary periods differently, we believe that in Financial Services you’ve got 90 days, at best, to show that you can fit in culturally and perform your tasks effectively and on time.
In America they call it “pre-boarding” – the process of preparation before you’re a fully paid up member of an organisation. It’s becoming more than something to consider. It’s essential, if you have any desire to succeed in your new role.
Here’s a 10-point plan we’ve tailored to help you nurture the good impression you made at interview, throughout your critical probationary period.
- Know your company's proposition – You’re in Financial Services, so it’s pivotal that you know what your company is selling. Whatever research you may have carried out during the interview process, you’ll impress more if you enhance your knowledge after you’ve been offered the role so that you hit the ground running.
- Know your firm - You also need to do what you can to familiarise yourself with the company’s philosophy and culture. You could suggest meeting the team for a drink whilst you’re working your notice period. Get to know them early. Get a copy of your company’s most recent annual report and read it thoroughly. As a new employee you’re in a great position to know more about the company than those who have been there for years, who may have become apathetic. Take advantage. Be the star.
- Know your people and the stakeholders in your future – On one level, you need to remember the names of the people you are introduced to (write them down if necessary) but on a much deeper level you need to find out who is important to you and get them to trust you. Trust will only be built if you get to know them on a personal level. Book out diary time to have lunch or maybe a drink with them after work. This is key to consolidating their cultural buy-in of you. Put yourself in as many social situations with people as possible in order to fast track your cultural induction. A great deal can rest on this. Success at work is largely about building effective relationships. Don’t compromise on this.
- Know your competition – Both internally and externally. There's an old saying that goes “know your friends but know your enemies better”. Financial Services is a competitive industry so it is important to know who your competitors are and how to gain the edge over them.
- As soon as possible, find out what your boss thinks of you – Take time to ask how your boss thinks you are coming along in your first few weeks. This can only really impress. It's better to know sooner than later if things are awry and by taking the initiative you’ll show that you’re proactive. Transparency is everything in building an honest relationship. Start as you mean to go on.
- Know your company’s communication style – Be sure to find out as quickly as possible how to communicate in your new position. The role of e-mail can be quite different from firm to firm. In sales particularly the telephone is still “king” - make sure you use it more often than e-mail, especially in your first weeks. It remains a far better relationship-building tool than anything online. You will learn more and faster.
- Seal some quick wins – If you are in sales there’s no better way of winning hearts in this environment than by delivering quick results. You may be lucky enough to bring business with you from a previous role. If not, see where you might be able to maximise opportunities.
- Be punctual – There’s nothing more unprofessional than being unnecessarily late and there’s nothing easier to fix than poor punctuality.
- Be confident, friendly and open - You’re in a fantastic place as a new starter in a firm, aloof from all the politics and other issues, so maximise this detachment by always being someone who’s good to be around. Be sure to be positive about your new role and your colleagues as well as the company and colleagues you’ve left. Develop a good reputation for honesty and integrity. People are more likely to share important issues with you sooner.
- Look for solutions, not problems – Avoid being the office complainer. In a new role, it’s easy to fall into the trap of finding fault with your new environment. Be careful to shape your comments about your new world in a way which helps create something better. Help establish a new way of doing things or mode of practice. You will be seen as adding value if you deliver it in the right way.
- Finally, nail your colours to a business critical project as soon as you can. It will not only provide you with a platform to shine and be visible to the business but also give you something to get your teeth into to make you feel settled. Good luck and congratulations on your new job.