Starting a new job? These tips could help

You’ve landed the new job, now what?

Changing and/or starting jobs can be intimidating and can be major stressor in a person’s life. You have successfully secured that elusive job, but it comes with a new company culture and politics, new policies and procedures, new colleagues and a new boss. You quickly realize that you soon will be in an unfamiliar setting with a brand new set of expectations.

According to a new Randstad 2017 Talent Trends Report, 70 percent of employer’s expectations of their workers are continually rising, placing more pressure on them to perform. About the same percentage say that workers have higher expectations of their employers.

If you have landed in a forward-thinking company, which are those with a solid on-boarding process, your move into your new job is going to be good. The company’s goal is to increase your success because it understands the expense of getting you from candidate to employee.

Tommy Leach, training specialist in Human Resources Training and Development at the University of Kentucky, believes training helps set the foundation for success. “If you don’t train your new employees, not only are you hindering their success, you are hindering your department/organization’s success.”

As a the lead facilitator for new employee orientation sessions, Leach provides instruction every other week to about 90 participants.

Good hiring managers are deliberate, investing time and money to get new employees ready to work. They have created a road map for the new employee. The flip side of not training new employees, according to Leach, is to have “lost productivity, increased likelihood of turnover, costs associated with vacant positions, etc.”

Unfortunately, many companies are not innovative and their goal is to get the new employee in the door and working. Often, these kinds of companies have budget constraints, but the vision, poor leadership or culture could be the factor as well. If this is your current job environment, you should know that your first few months are typically considered probation. It’s normally a 90-day period.

To make good first impression, review your job description before you begin working. Then, seek to find your place within the company. You will need to dress appropriately, arrive on time and work hard to build relationships with your new boss and colleagues.

You are the new kid on the block and may be out to prove yourself, but start with laying some groundwork. Extend your interview mindset. Stay motivated to learn.

Michael Watkins, Switzerland’s IMD Business School professor and author of the preeminent guide “The First 90 Days,” calls the first three months in a new job the time most “fraught with peril and loaded with opportunity.” The aim of his book is to help you make a fruitful conversion from job seeker to employee.

Here are a few of his suggestions to help you make a successful transition:

Define your learning agenda: A learning agenda establishes your learning priorities and consists of a focused set of questions that will guide your inquiry. You must learn about the organization’s strategy, resources, culture and politics, reporting lines and structure — and don’t overlook the informal structure. Here are some sample questions: Who influences major decisions? What is the decision-making process? What resources are available to you? Does the company want change? Will the culture allow you to be successful in your capacity?

Adopt structured learning methods: Watkins suggest that you have an idea of what you need to learn and where to seek it. Here are questions Watkins suggests you ask: What are the biggest challenges the organization is facing (or will face) in the near future? Why is the organization facing (or going to face) these challenges? What are the most promising unexploited opportunities for growth? What would need to happen for the organization to exploit the potential of these opportunities? If you were me, what would you focus on?

Leach, who has been a trainer nearly 18 years, which includes 13 years with a Fortune 500 company, says new employees should not be afraid to ask questions. It’s more important to seek clarification on a process or procedure than to guess if you aren’t sure.

Secure early wins: Seek out opportunities to do well early on. Remember that you are in the honeymoon stage of your new job and the probation time is like interviewing all over. “By the end of your transition, you want your boss, your peers and your subordinates to feel that something new and good is happening,” Watkins says.

Look for achievable goals and don’t over extend yourself.

Identify the key players: Watkins recommends that you get your boss to connect with you. “Ask for a list of 10 key people outside your group who he or she thinks you should get to know, then set up meetings with them,” said Watkins. After talking with people and getting more insight about your new company, it will become clearer about the culture as well as the key players.

Building a network of trusted colleagues will be important to your success. Remember you are the new kid on the block and will need to develop a network to grow, understand and work through the culture to get your job done.

Lenroy Jones has dedicated his life to coaching and supporting career seekers to pursue their passion and purpose. Join him on LinkedIn, "like" him at or follow him on Twitter at @CareerDudeTweet.