Starting a New Job

Congratulations, you’ve landed the job! Now what? There are several steps you should take to help you start off on the right foot and develop momentum as quickly as possible in your new role.

  1. Communicate your transition with your network: Be sure to communicate with all the colleagues you are leaving, including co-workers, customers, vendors, partners and advisors. Be sure to also send a note to everyone who helped you during your job search. Let them know where you landed and provide them with your new contact information so the mutually beneficial relationship can continue. Don’t forget to update your information in LinkedIn and your alumni directories (including the Darden Alumni Directory and other social network platforms).
  2. Develop a clear understanding of the expectations of your new role: Meet with your manager and be sure you fully understand the scope and responsibilities of the job, including expectations for the first three and six months. Have frank discussions about your manager’s communication style, priorities and metrics that s/he will use to measure your performance.
  3. Look for quick wins: Identify some things that you can do immediately (i.e., first two weeks to one month) to get off to a good start and make the desired impression.
  4. Understand the business and the current business plan: Before you start, research the current market landscape, pressures facing the business and the key stakeholders.
  5. Explore the culture and rituals more deeply: Think about what personal and professional characteristics are expected and valued, the environmental and behavioral norms, and try to understand how decisions are made.
  6. Identify and learn about key people: Get to know the important support staff, the “real” decision-makers and the true “movers” in your part of the company. Understand how they like to operate, their biases, pet peeves, etc.
  7. Nurture relationships: Make opportunities to engage with your new manager and teammates. Early morning breakfasts, lunches or drinks after work help you connect on a personal basis. Don’t let the frenetic pace of business disrupt your ability to have personal conversations.
  8. Schedule check-ins early: Ensure you, your manager and your subordinates are in sync as you assimilate into the new role. Over the first six months, schedule frequent one-on-one meetings to discuss both the business results and your development.
  9. Set up a feedback system: Identify some key people who you can contact periodically to discuss your methods of operation, what you’re doing, and how you are being received and perceived around the company. Listen carefully for opportunities to improve.

These resources can be very helpful in contemplating how to make the strongest start possible: