What’s the secret to making a great impression with a new company when you first start? How do you get to understand the company strategy, its purpose, key stakeholders, the comms objectives and priorities; how can you get under the skin of the culture and remember everyone’s name? And then you want to make a great impression on top of that. Not an easy task, especially for corporate comms professionals who are working in companies with hybrid working policies and may only see their team once or twice a week. Who said changing jobs is easy? Far from it, the learning curve is huge although it can be really exciting to learn about new industries, products, meet new people and learn new ways of doing things.
Here are our tips on how to take the first 30 days in your stride.
Talk about your ‘why’
When you introduce yourself to new colleagues, don’t just focus on the ‘what’ – as in, what you previously did and what you do now. Instead, include the why.
Talk about why you chose the job, or why you are passionate about the company or the industry. This will automatically make introductions more engaging and leave a positive and lasting imprint in people’s minds.
Meet the stakeholders
Get to know your internal key stakeholders – perhaps they are business leads, C-suite, heads of marketing, digital and internal comms. Some of these stakeholders will be working partners, some will make great spokespeople, others will be useful for media commentary and some for sharing company knowledge. Request as many meetings as possible in your first 30 days – via video or face to face, whatever works for you both. Getting an understanding of the business and how you can work together is a great place to start.
Ask people what they expect from you
The first few weeks of the job are generally spent meeting with a variety of key partners. In these meetings, ask this critical question: What do you expect from me? How can I help? This will help you build a close relationship with each partner and crystallise how you can meet expectations.
At the same time, an important part your job is to ensure that you manage expectations around what you will be able to deliver for your stakeholders. Being new to the company is the perfect opportunity to explain your role to key partners so they have a clear understanding of exactly what you can do for them and what is out of scope.
Ask a lot of questions
A LOT of questions. If there's any doubt, ask a question.
Most people will appreciate this, as it shows you have a strong willingness to learn. And you should have a strong willingness to learn – you need to understand the business quickly.
So, if you are in doubt, ask a question. It’ll get you up to speed much faster than trying to figure it out on your own. Everyone will assume you know unless you speak up.
Embrace the induction process
Someone will have taken the time to put together an in-depth induction/training programme to help you integrate into your new role. Make sure you actively take part in the programme, ask questions, complete the training exercises and absorb all the knowledge being given to you. It may feel overwhelming, but break everything down into bitesize chunks and take lots of notes to refer to later. Remember, no-one is expecting you to be an expert on day one, but they do want to see you trying to understand how everything is done.
Memorise who’s who
People really like it when you know their name and what they do. But, when you start a new job, you often spend so much time meeting so many people, it can be easy to forget.
Take some time to memorise who’s who on the team. This way, you’ll know people’s names, their roles and you’ll have a good sense of who you need to partner with. Perhaps put their contact details into your phone and add their photo from the company website or their LinkedIn profile.
Create and learn your pitch
You are going to meet a lot of people in your first month. In that time, create and perfect your pitch on who you are and what you do. Remember to include your why.
Learn as much as you can about the company
The first month on the job is often less busy than when you get into the heat of the position. Use that downtime wisely by learning as much as you can about the business, the company strategy, and communication priorities.
That means attending every all-hands and department meetings you can, as well as any optional social ones.
Once the pace of your job picks up, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day. Building that foundational understanding of your organisation’s philosophy and goals early will empower you to act more strategically throughout your tenure.
Learn about your customers
Your ultimate job is to fix the problems of your customers. So, do what you can to learn about them as much as possible, as early as possible.
As a comms professional, understanding your audience is important. See if you speak directly with customers so you have a clear understanding of their mindset and needs.
Learn about the company’s culture
It’s important to understand the culture of your company in your first 30 days for a variety of reasons. First off, it’ll help you comply with the company’s norms. And second, big picture, it’ll help you understand if this job is really a long-term fit for you.
Ask colleagues what’s really rewarded and how promotions are determined. Go to any company cultural activities, if there are any.
Own your mistakes
It’s a fact that everyone learns by making mistakes. Your employer will anticipate that you will make a few errors, particularly when you first start. Remember though that it is what you do once you have made the mistake that makes the difference. Respect will be gained if you own up to making a faux-pas immediately and if you show you understand what went wrong and what you need to do to fix it.
Show that you care
Being passionate about the company and your role is a sure-fire way to ensure you earn your colleagues’ respect. Understand the needs of your team and help where you can. You may not be able to fully help, but by demonstrating that you care and are making the effort, it will show that you are a team player.
Identify opportunities for quick wins
You need to be able to justify yourself as being the right hire, so identify any opportunities where you can quickly make an impact. Plan how you can make that impact visible, decide if it’s in line with the company objectives and whether you have the right skills to complete the task.
Cultivate a strong relationship with your manager
This first month is the time to get to know your manager and how they operate as a leader. Learn about their approach to the business and how they strive for excellence.
Bring your full self to work
You were hired above all others because you have the skills and experience that this company wanted and there were probably other skills you demonstrated that were not on the job description. Don’t let being the ‘newbie’ diminish your skills and personality.
Starting a new job, where you have a new environment to adapt to, new colleagues to get to know and new things to learn can be exhausting. Remember to take a breather, relax and step away from it all. Don’t plan too much in your personal life during the first 30 days in a new job, giving you the necessary time to rest and regroup.
The first 30 days in a new job is the time when the company will make allowances and invest a lot of training time in you – you do not get that time again. Use it wisely and make it count.
For a free download of our full Annual Salary Guide 2022, click here.
Time for a change? Check out our latest jobs!
The Works Search is a search consultancy specialising in PR and corporate communications. We have unrivalled matching abilities and are known for finding the top 5% performers in the industry - the ones who deliver and make your reputation great. For more advice or market insights, do get in touch with us on 0207 903 9291 or email: email@example.com