So, you start your new job. You’re excited. The job is shiny and new. You may be working remotely, in the office, or hybrid. Whatever your situation, you can succeed as a new manager in the first 90 days.
Observe the Culture
- If you are in the office, I want you to observe what the culture is like. How is the office laid out? Is it open concept? Are people in offices? Where are you sitting? Where you sit matters by the way. Listen to one of my prior episodes on that story.
When you observe the culture, you can get the rhythm of it. Imagine that you’re a kid again, standing outside of the double-dutch jump rope. If you’re ever jumped rope, you know you can’t typically barge in. You need to watch the pace and timing of of the rope, make your move, and jump in. There’s a process and timing involved.
It’s the same with business culture. You need to unlearn the culture of your last job because this place is operating at a difference place. It has its own customs, traditions, events, engagement opportunities, and requirements. You need to pay attention to that and respect it because of you try to bulldoze in, you may get a reputation that you don’t fit in here. Believe me, I’ve made that mistake. During one of my prior roles, my boss at the time said that I wasn’t the right fit for the organization. Ouch. I was concerned that I was being fired that day. What I needed to learn was to respect the pace and feel of the culture. You can do this too.
- When you hold conversations in your new job environment, your words matter. Of course you want to share yourself, your personality, and your experience. What you don’t want to share is, “At my last company, we did it this way.” Why? Because it shows that you may have stronger feelings for your old company and job than you do for your new company. You left that old job for a reason, and now it’s time to let that go. Of course you took your great experiences and lessons with you to this new job, but you don’t want to remind people of your old company every chance you get. It’s a waste of time and energy. Spend that time and energy creating success at your new job.
- Once you observe the culture, start meeting your colleagues. That can be in meetings, of course, but it would be even better to schedule a lunch with 1-2 people a month or if you’re working remote, schedule Zoom coffee dates with people. If you are working remotely, you will need to work even harder to build new work relationships. Why is this important? Because we spend more time with people we work with than our families most days. We want to understand who our colleagues are so we can work with them better. Through these lunches or virtual meetings, we can build relationships with people of influence at our companies. These are the folks that may make decisions, are potential mentors, or can help sponsor your growth in the short- and long-term. Building these relationships will make a big difference in your success.
Check out Part II of this blog for even more tips!