Starting your dream job is a dream — but the hard part of getting the dream job isn’t over just yet. Instead, you need to quickly get up to speed, start delivering on your tasks and integrate yourself with the team.
Surprisingly, often it is not your job skills that get you in trouble starting out on a new job. Instead, it is the social skills we use to integrate ourselves with the people we work with on our new job.
When you start off with a new manager, you can assume nothing. Seriously. But we do that all the time. You can’t assume that you know the business goals you need to achieve unless you ask your manager to both give them to you and to explain how the manager thinks you will go about achieving them.
You can’t assume the communications path with your manager is the same as your old manager; it can be completely different. Do you provide status reports? How often? What is the format and content for them? Are there regular team meetings? How do I get the calendar invites to the team meetings? Is there something I need to prepare for each of the team meetings? Unless you ask about all of the “administrivia” on managerial communications, you won’t communicate right.
Many of us don’t understand that when we join a new team, we disrupt the team. We cause the team to become a team all over again because we’re a new member. Yet, we often just interact with team members not getting to the core of how we fit into the team and bring value to the team.
When we start a new job, we need to question each person on the team to determine their particular specialty on the team. How best to work with them when interacting with them. And determining how we can best bring value to the team ourselves so we become the go-to person for our work. Without the team embracing you on your new job, you won’t succeed.
Everyone has stakeholders for their work. Stakeholders are people that have a vested interest in your work but don’t directly control your work. Your teammates, for example, can be stakeholders because your work impacts them. But the stakeholders I’m talking about here are those outside of your direct team. These are people in other groups or departments who are impacted by your work to your customer.
For example, a group of people could be interested in your reporting work because the numbers in the report are given to your mutual customer.
Stakeholders can pave the way for a customer initiative — or block it. Stakeholders can give you context for how things are done — or let you fail without explaining you are on a wrong path. Stakeholders can submarine you in two sentences or support your positions to help move something along.
Stakeholders, for the most part, are hidden. You don’t find them on an organizational chart. You have to find them so you can work with them.
You’ll note that none of this has much to do with job skills. Business is social and just like any social situation, you need support for what you do. Getting shunned by not getting on the same page as your manager, not integrating with your team and ignoring stakeholders are sure fire ways to fail.
I’m spending a great deal of effort in my new book “I’ve Landed My Dream Job — Now What?” on each of these areas so that you have a good plan to follow for success.
How have you integrated yourself with our new manager, team, and stakeholders?