more-arw search

Q&A Forum

What are some of your "starting a new job" best practices that you've come across?


Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |


New job means new network. So...start networking!
-Ask people "can you introduce me to the person who does X?"
-Invite folks to lunch, coffee. Ask them for their stories.
-Even if you think you know someone, or some process...ask *their* opinion first (because until you know what they think, you are at a disadvantage).
-Don't be too hesitant in forming positions and engaging in discussions.

And, good luck!

Topic Expert
Dana Price
Title: Vice President, M&A
Company: McGraw Hill Education
(Vice President, M&A, McGraw Hill Education) |

* Find out exactly how many products or services they sell, even the ones that many don't know about- you'd be amazed.... (if they use this should be easy)
* Crawl the main website and understand how that is intertwined with the business.
* Get someone to give you a seating layout (if you have a small office) of the employees- it's a simple way to remember where people are and what their name is.
* Understand the company's policies and procedures, everything from benefits to social media, ask for any that are in writing.
* Ask questions, and when you are done asking questions, ask some more.
* And the most important one- HAVE FUN. Don't be afraid to laugh.

(VP Finance) |

Identify key stakeholders that you will be interacting with on a regular basis and schedule one-on-one meetings to introduce yourself and understand their needs/ requirements/ regular deliverables and how they’ve interacted with your position in the past and whether they have unmet needs or desired changes in that interaction.
Schedule a set of one-on-ones with your direct supervisor and identify goals and objectives as soon as possible so that you’re able to agree on deliverables and measures. Make sure that they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Realistic and Time specific). Schedule follow-up meetings to make any adjustments based on your full understanding of the lay of the land and work environment if necessary. If you have direct reports, schedule one-on-ones with them as well to understand what their past goals and objectives looked like and then follow-on meetings once yours’ are defined to insure that their goals and objectives align with yours,… again following the SMART framework.
Never assume anything, always ask if you don’t know something. It’s also an opportunity to meet someone new and develop your network.
If you don’t get taken around and introduced to your department request that this be done. You’d be surprised how many companies/ managers neglect this basic courtesy for new employees. It also breaks the ice with your colleagues and sets up a basis for future interactions/ questions etc. by identifying what each of them is responsible for with the introduction.
I agree with Dana – understand the company’s policies and procedures as soon as possible. Get your hands on either hardcopies or identify where this information is located on their intranet.
Find out who the admin who supports your area is and make sure that you introduce yourself and understand how they work with your team. They can be a great asset as they typically know how to get most anything done.

Topic Expert
Mike Caruana
Title: Director of Financial Services
Company: Diamond Resorts International
(Director of Financial Services, Diamond Resorts International) |

Great suggestions! I also think Michael Watkins’ book ‘The First 90 Days’ is a must read. In it, he gives great advice regarding how to effectively promote yourself at the onset, achieve alignment, create coalitions, etc. It’s chock full of nuggets to help you acclimate and successfully come off the ground.

Topic Expert
Moshe Kravitz
Title: Director of Finance
Company: IDT Telecom
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, IDT Telecom) |

Great question and great suggestions so far.

Strive to understand the needs of your internal clients (as mentioned above) and provide more than they request of you. What do they need to do with the information you're providing...push your work farther to make their job easier:

Summarize - verbally and visually
Highlight the salient points and
Comment on them
Anticipate their follow-up questions and provide the data to address or answer them
Suggest options (if appropriate) and show the impact (financial, strategic, risk...) of each option.

For excellent guidance on successful on-boarding read pp. 181-183 in the book, "Mastering the Job Interview and Winning the Money Game" by Kate Wendleton.

And keep asking great questions! :)

Chris Holtzer
Title: Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis
Company: Sargento
(Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis, Sargento) |

This may sound silly, but I have found it to work quite well...BRING FOOD!

This gives an initial impression that you are generous and making a personal sacrifice to the team. It is also an excellent way to start doing all the great things already listed above. It is customary to thank someone who does something generous for you, so it is a great ice breaker to start networking and getting a feel for the lay of the land. Also, everyone is in a better mood when they have a full belly!

Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: VP, Thought Leadership
Company: Stampli
LinkedIn Profile
(VP, Thought Leadership, Stampli) |

I would also add that getting the "lay of the land" before you start sharing all of your bright ideas is a good practice. Even if a company practice appears not to make sense, the person who you might be discussing it with, and sharing your great ideas, could be the person who owns it and developed it. Also customizations that look "strange on the service" at times exist for good reasons. I.E., don't inadvertently step on company "landmines" in your excitement to come in and "fix everything".


Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email [email protected] to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.