First – thanks to everyone who’s visited and read my post about 4 Tips for Success in a New Job. I am now starting my third week, and I thought this might be a good time to revisit those tips and add a couple more.
4 More Tips
- Don’t panic or freak out about the learning curve. Every new role has a learning curve, and some curves are steeper than others. It’s a fact, and you can’t change that.
- Find and maintain a focus on a few short-term, immediate successes.
- Be visible, but not too visible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t Fight the Learning Curve
I knew there would be a steep learning curve – new organization, new people (names and faces), new industry, etc. I knew that. Really. But I was not really sure just how steep the curve would actually be. For me – it’s been pretty steep. So a daily challenge for me remains some careful selection between things to learn and things to do. I could spend my entire day just reading and trying to figure things out. Well – that won’t work (see Tip #2), so I am making sure to spend SOME time learning, reading and absorbing. The trick is to find that balance between learning and doing. So – far, with the great help of my new boss, I am close to a good balance.
Deliver a Few Quick Wins
Nobody expects the new person to make a big sale, have a brilliant idea or do much of anything for a while. So – take a deep breath, and realize you aren’t expected to deliver big time results right away. But – do not sit back and just train, learn and watch. Find something – even a small something – you can deliver quickly. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a big something – just something. For me, it’s been two things – one an actual deliverable (a new template for proposals), and trying (and hopefully succeeding) to lay the foundation for a view towards marketing that we are true business partners for the sales and account management teams.
This is pretty easy for me. I tend to be fairly social, and I cannot just sit still all day. I NEED to get up, walk, think and interact to charge and recharge my batteries. So, I make sure my new team sees me and talks to me at least once each 2-3 hour block of time. And we are in regular, daily meetings (quick huddles) so we all know what each other is doing. It’s a great way to quickly build a sense of team identity and unity. As for the rest of the organization, I try to be visible to help foster an attitude that marketing is present, able and willing to be partners. Plus – it’s just good fun to get to know my new colleagues!
This ought to be a “d’oh” sort of moment for everyone starting a new job, but I have always been surprised by how some people are afraid to ask questions. I guess it’s a fear of looking like they don’t know what they are doing. Trust me on this – if you don’t ask questions, you will PROVE sooner, rather than later, that you REALLY don’t know what you are doing. Of course, there is a limit to the questions that make sense to ask, but if you are in doubt – ASK.
The types of questions you ought to ask in week one should be different than the questions that remain in week three. For instance, my early round of questions were mostly about where I can locate learning and education resources – user guides to key systems and applications, for instance. I am NO LONGER asking questions of others about my personal learning curve. I own that, and my colleagues aren’t there – after a point – to help me get started. They have their own jobs to do. So now my questions are tied to how their role intersects with mine, and what they need from marketing. I am also moving into a more productive mode, so there are questions that will (hopefully) help establish a working rhythm for the team with other groups within the organization. An example was going to the account management team to gather customer quotes for the proposal template. Asking questions tied to a deliverable – hopefully, a long-term trend – are legitimate and appropriate for any stage of your job, but early on, these questions help build momentum towards success and establish credibility.
So – as for my 4 prior tips, I think they were pretty good. My research and preparation really helped reduce the learning curve in places, and that’s in turn helped make me feel more like a contributing partner a little bit quicker. I am offering a little in the way of ideas, but I am still in major LISTEN mode, and I really am going to work hard to STAY there anyway! But that tip was solid. Also, I just weighed myself, and I’ve dropped several pounds – WOOHOO! My effort to up my energy level helped, and that was a good idea.
So far – so good. But – it’s really early in my new role. That said, I think I’m starting off okay, and I think I’m setting the stage for bigger successes in the future. Stay tuned!