Starting a new job can be daunting to say the least; meeting new people, new demands and expectations, followed by getting used to a whole new routine and learning how the company and people around you work. And then there’s the language, with new acronyms and terminology to learn. It can be intimidating whatever level you’re at!
But worry not, because we’ve got you covered.
If you’ve made the jump into a new role, or are planning on it soon, this is for you.
We’ve asked a dozen experts from all different industries to tell us the best ways to make a positive impact at work, looking specifically at the those crucial first 90 days in your new role. For further career tips from event industry professionals, check out the chat over on the EventTribe forum.
Lee Biggins, Founder & Managing Director of CV-Library
Lucy Noble, Director of Events at the Royal Albert Hall
“Don’t be overbearing: stand back and take your time to get to know people and the place you’re working.
Don’t try to make changes for the sake of it, until you fully understand the business.
Work hard to be nice to people. And be enthusiastic – at the Hall it’s easy, as there’s so much to be positive about, from the incredible shows on our famous stage to the 100,000 participants in our Education & Outreach scheme every year.”
Tom Boyesen-Corballis, Senior Human Resources Manager at LOLA Staffing
“The most important thing to do in a new job is to try and anticipate what your manager will want from you. Doing what you’re told is not enough, you have to do more, you have to get to grips with your manager’s style and provide value with tasks that you have not been specifically asked to do. These are the people that really stick out.”
Jason Allan Scott, Host of The Guestlist Podcast; Author of The Eventrepreneur Series; Founder of VenueMe & NonInvasives
“Here are a few tips that take minimal effort and make all the difference in creating a positive impact when starting in a new job:
- Be on time
- Have great work ethic
- Be aware of your body language
- Have energy
- Have a positive attitude
- Present the passion
- Be coachable
- Be prepared to do extra (more than required of you)
- Be prepared to learn
Tip 1: Do not underestimate office politics
In regards to your colleagues, line managers and bosses: be open-minded about their suggestions and approaches, and share your knowledge without forcing it on others. Follow the lead of your colleagues in the beginning. Once you are secure in your position you may be able to ask for more flexibility in or around your role.
Tip 2: Say thank you often and to all those that aide you
Manners are simple and essential!
Tip 3: Dress for success
In order to convey a message of being reliable, organised, trustworthy, and efficient, a simple suggestion is to dress professionally. If your work dress code is more relaxed, you can relax yours as well, but do so after people have got to know you.
Tip 4: If you don’t know, ask. And remember for next time
Rather than complete a job incorrectly, ask your co-workers and colleagues for help when you need it. No one expects you to know everything, and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!
Tip 5: Go the extra mile
Be proactive and communicative with your boss. Tell him or her you’ve completed an assigned task, and ask what you can do next. When extra duties come up and you don’t have a full plate, raise your hand and volunteer to do them.
Tip 6: Perception is key
Keep your personal problems to yourself, and avoid using company time to solve them.”
Edward Poland, Co-Founder & COO at Hire Space
“The first three months at Hire Space are about getting to know the team and learning how the business works – very much a bedding in period. Be positive and look to understand the company vision as quickly as you can. The job is so much easier when you know how it fits into the direction of the company. And enjoy it!”
Paola Feregrino, Marketing Manager at Wahaca
“I love The Futureheads’ tune First Day that talks about all the mundane things of starting a new job, but as they say… are you ready for the next stage? Make a positive impact by not only trying to remember everyone’s name but also ask questions, LOTS! Even if they sound silly, they will stop you from making mistakes as you do your best to shine, plus you will learn quicker from others, and you will be seen as someone who is super-keen to learn.”
Rebecca Shanks, Producer at Sledge
“Be happy – you’ve chosen this role for a reason and should be excited to get going and immerse yourself in this new environment. Be enthusiastic about the work and show your new colleagues you are excited to be a part of the team. They want to know the person they’ve hired is actively participating and eager to get involved.
Get to know your colleagues – You will most likely be spending a lot of your time with these people, sometimes more than you would with family or friends and you’ll enjoy your place of work a lot more if you like the people you work with. Take the time to get to know your immediate team; offer to make a round of teas and make the effort to contribute to conversations. They want to know you’re friendly and easy to work with so don’t be shy – smile and join in.
Challenge yourself – you may be given tasks or responsibilities you have not undertaken before. Don’t be dismissive because it is new, jump in with both feet and tackle it with confidence. This is your chance to step away from your comfort zone and try something new. You will most likely find out you are more than capable and your colleagues will appreciate you working as part of the team to get the job done.”
Martin Hofschroer, Content Marketing Strategist at Totaljobs.com
“My advice would be about how to manage your relationship with your previous employer:
Don’t talk negatively about your previous employer. Be discreet about former management and colleagues. Your industry may be a close-knit environment, and your new workmates may be friends with some of your ex-colleagues. Badmouthing a previous workplace doesn’t give a great impression of your working style.
Do stay in contact with the right people from your old place. You never know when you’ll need valuable contacts. You could use your network to help your new company in your first few months and make a great impression.”
Alan Newton, Co-Founder & COO of Eventopedia
“The more experience you gain, and the more senior you become, the greater the expectation to deliver when you begin a new job. It’s important to have a long-term strategy but to set short to medium term goals on the journey towards that strategy.
Clearly, it’s the short-term goals, or ‘quick wins’, that require immediate focus in order to make a positive impact in the first 90-days. Be inclusive, understand the pain points within other teams and departments, and work out how to utilise the businesses strengths to deliver more holistic solutions for the organisation, making the lives of other departments simpler.
Too many businesses work in silos and for anyone who has done enough consulting, this will be a familiar pain point. Operating in a manner that helps to break down barriers, improve firm-wide communication, and forges better relationships, is a great skill for adding value to an organisation.
Just be prepared to manage the politics you will face along the way when you’re proving to be a big hit!”
Mark Di-Toro, Career Trends Expert at Glassdoor
“Be cheerful – You may feel a probationary period is all about you being ‘on trial’, and to an extent it is. But a probationary period cuts both ways: it’s about them getting to know you and you getting to know them. It’s also in the interest of both sides to ensure a probationary period is a success.
Having said all that, one of the best ways to make a probationary period go swimmingly is simply to be unfailingly cheerful, whatever is thrown at you. It’ll be hard, but coming across as someone who can suck up the pressure and the workload with good grace and a positive, eager attitude will make it much harder for them to turn around in three to six months and say ‘you don’t belong here’.
Read our blog on the importance of smiling in the workplace for more.
Be visible – During your probationary period you want to stand out and make a good impression. But you also want to be quickly developing a reputation as someone who’s reliable and can deliver results with the minimum of fuss and bother.
This is a difficult balancing act. On one hand you mustn’t be afraid to ask questions. This is, first, to enable you to find out how things work so you’re not going to be tripped up by them later on and, second, to show that you’re interested in what you’re doing and have an appetite to learn and develop. On the other hand, recognising too many constant questions will eventually become wearing to those around you, and you may start to be perceived as someone unable to work independently.
Be professional – Poor performance is generally the most common reason cited by managers for someone failing to pass their final evaluation. But absence and lateness are also frequent complaints, and are two of the quickest ways to get a black mark against your reputation.
This is hardly rocket science if your aim is to make a favourable impression, so make a real effort to always be on time and reliable. Of course, everyone gets sick from time to time, and everyone occasionally has a nightmare commute when everything goes wrong, but if the worst happens do your utmost to keep the people who need to know informed; show you understand that time-keeping and attendance matters.
Make sure you look the part and fit in with whatever the dress code is for the organisation. You may eventually be able to develop that eccentric look that everyone finds quirky and endearing, but leave it until after you’ve secured that permanent contract.”
Nigel Twumasi, Co-founder & Director of Mayamada
“For your first 90 days, take in and learn as much about the job and company as you can. Ask questions of collegues in your department and those from other departments where possible, and really listen to the answers given.
The better you understand your role and how it contributes to the company’s overall goals, the quicker you will find yourself making a positive impact on in the company.”
Paul Cooke, Head of Growth at Shaken Cocktails
“However you feel about your new job, and it’s probably a mix of excitement and trepidation, there are plenty of things you can do to help settle in quickly. The best advice I’ve had on this was from my first manager, who said simply, “Ask lots of questions, write everything down”. You can’t go wrong with this, especially when everything is new. And there are no stupid questions. Ask away.
Some other things I would say are important are:
Get stuck in, be enthusiastic and show willing. Smile and be polite, and be sure to make the tea now and then.
Quickly understand from your direct manager what’s expected of you so that you are on the same page from the beginning and you know early on what success looks like.
Try and meet everyone you’re going to interact with, find out what they do and explain what you’ve been hired to do. If you can, arrange lunch with the CEO or one of the senior team to really get a feel for the bigger picture for the business.
You’ll be bursting with new ideas – speak up. Don’t worry that most of them will have been thought of before, some of them won’t and often good (and previously passed over) ideas benefit from a fresh push from the new person.
In a new environment, your previous ways of working and old routes to success might not apply, learn what makes the new place tick quickly to settle faster.
- If for some crazy reason it’s not already a thing, instigate bacon sandwiches on a Friday morning, you get bonus points for including a vegetarian option.”
Alex Shebar, Community Director at Yelp London
“The first 90 days is all about educating yourself. Not just the details of what your job entails, although those are important (and worth learning too or you may not have a job past 90 days), but about the clients and customers.
Learn about them as people. Don’t just find out who buys your product or service, but why they buy? Who are these people when they’re at work, when they’re away from work, get to know them not just as sales numbers but as a community of real people. And then, start to build a plan that makes them, and others like them, really truly happy.
If you can do that in your first 90 days, you’ll kill it for the rest of the year and beyond. ”
Recently moved jobs? What are your top tips for surviving and thriving in the first 90 days? Let us know in the comments section below!