How to succeed in a new job – quickly

How to succeed in a new job – quickly

Published on 28th January, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Impress your team and prove that you were the right pick for the role with these expert tips to succeed in a new job.

Starting a new job is always an exciting stepping stone on your career path. This doesn’t mean, however, that it doesn’t come with its fair share of nerves too. What can make things even more stressful is making the transition from your old role to a new, probably more senior one as smooth as possible so that you can succeed in your new job.

You’d think that recruiters and companies generally make the right decision when it comes to hires and promotions. But the numbers suggest otherwise. A 2018 McKinsey report revealed that 27-46% of newly appointed executives turn out to have been the wrong choice, becoming evident within their first two years in the job. “Individuals with a good education and in-depth knowledge of their industry often get promoted to managerial- or executive-level positions,” says life, executive and business coach Dr Marlet Tromp. “But this is a mistake many companies make as leadership requires a different set of skills which are not general knowledge but need to be taught.”

And when things don’t work out, there are consequences for all involved. “If a transition or new appointment fails, it directly impacts the individual by leading to disappointment, a sense of failure and doubt in their abilities. For the company, there is a direct financial impact due to the cost and resources that go into processing new employees, as well as the risk of any damage done to the business’s reputation. Lastly, it can affect the team and their morale and output as a result of poor leadership,” she says.

Furthermore, a Gallup survey on the American workplace found that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees. This means that the majority of employees don’t have high confidence in their organisation’s ability to onboard new employees successfully. In South Africa, nearly one in every five employees plan to continue working from home, making onboarding that much harder.

Read on to find out why connecting with colleagues and your boss during your first few weeks in a new role is important for your onboarding and for building valuable relationships in the workplace.

Win over your workmates

#1:  Start networking from day one

Do you want to succeed in a new job? “As a new person in a company, your internal networking should be a long-term goal, but you should act on it from day one. Start your new role by first meeting the team and asking them how they view the organisation, what issues need to be addressed and what they think is the best way forward,” says Dr Tromp. “Not only does this build relations but it also provides you with insights into how the workforce see and view the company and gives you an understanding of the culture.”

#2:  Have an open mind and positive attitude

“Don’t make any assumptions about your new team. Don’t assume that your colleagues know what you think they know (or should know). The initial discussions will help in eliminating any assumptions, and identify any gaps that need addressing.”

#3:  Ask questions (and remember the answers)

When forming bonds with your new workmates, the idea is to first build relationships and not make them transactional. Ask questions, be willing to listen to your colleagues’ ideas and suggestions, and be open to learning and then leading.

Juggling multiple tasks? That’s a problem your free Personal Assistant benefit can solve easily, straight from your Sanlam Reality App.

Bowl over your boss

#1:  Find out their strengths and weaknesses

It’s not just about having a good rapport with your co-workers, but with your higher-ups, too. “When building a good relationship with your boss, it would be wise to learn how to ‘manage up’,” says Dr Tromp. “This refers to understanding your boss’s strengths and weaknesses so you can step back or step up where necessary.”

Are you and your boss on the same page while working remotely? Try these expert tips to strengthen your remote working relationship with your manager.

#2:  Set up a meeting to discuss expectations

Two of the most important things to establish with your boss are what is expected of you and how you are going to achieve organisational goals,” says Dr Tromp. “By having these conversations, you open the channels of communication and you can make sure you are on the same page.” Also, approach your boss with a solutions-driven mindset. “Whenever you have a problem or complaint come up with a plan of action. This will ensure you are part of the solution and not part of the problem,” she adds.

#3:  Ask for feedback

It’s also important to check that you are making the right moves. “Ask your boss for a monthly catch-up meeting to discuss any past and upcoming events, changes or issues, and use this space to ask them for performance feedback. This way, you can find out if they are satisfied with your work or if there is still room for improvement,” adds Dr Tromp.

Need more time to focus on succeeding in a new job? As a Sanlam Reality member, you have access to a Personal Assistant, 24/7 to help you streamline your life.

Want to learn more?

We send out regular emails packed with useful advice, ideas and tips on everything from saving and investing to budgeting and tax. If you're a Sanlam Reality member and not receiving these emails, update your contact details now.

Update Now