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Art of the Start: How to start your new role on the right foot


Starting a new job is exciting, daunting, challenging and rewarding. It is a lot of emotions all at once so it’s understandable that people are nervous going into a new role.  It is also an opportunity, a fresh chapter.  It is a chance to hit the reset button on things that may have been weighing you down or holding you back in your previous role.

How do some people excel when changing jobs while others fail? It’s all in the ‘art of the start’.

Here are some strategies to keep up your sleeve so you can start your role on the right foot and keep your stress levels in check!

Build an Internal Network

It’s EQ not IQ that sets you apart from your peers as you move into more senior roles in your career. People with strong emotional intelligence are good at networking across the business.   That doesn’t mean you should book a coffee catch up with the CEO on day one, it also doesn’t mean only deal with your manager and direct team.  Be pragmatic. Get to know people across the business and initially start to build a network at your level.      

Have a career plan.

Before you start your new role, map out some key goals and milestones that you want to achieve over the first 3 months of joining the company. You can adjust these in the initial weeks of starting once you have a better understanding of your new work environment. You also will want to sit down with your manager and understand their expectations of your new role so you are both on the same page. Revisit this plan after 3 months and give yourself quarterly objectives for your 1st year once you have a better feel for the business.  

Keep your personal brand in mind.

Everyone knows that first impressions count. Before you start your new job, you should give some thought to your personal brand. This is how you want others to perceive you and what you want people to say about you when you aren’t in the room. Think about the image you are trying to promote and mould your behaviour and work style accordingly. 

Be self-aware when interacting with your new colleagues.

When you walk through the door into a new business, it can be easy to spot inefficiencies, things that could be done better and problems that could be easily fixed.  Be realistic. No one likes someone who is new and all gung ho about driving through changes before they even know the business. In your first few months, it is a better strategy to listen, learn and observe. Keep strong opinions about the way the company does things to yourself early on. Your focus should be on building trust and credibility so that you can better influence people down the track.

Beware of the over share.

It is natural to want to try and fit in and be likeable amongst your new colleagues. However, avoid giving away too much too soon. Feel free to build rapport by talking about your interests outside work, kids etc. but avoid trying to build rapport by sharing overly personal stories that may cause people to make quick judgements about your character, morals or values. Just as importantly, avoid talking negatively about previous companies, bosses and employees.   

The biggest tip you can have for starting a new role is to not put too much pressure on the role or yourself early on. When you start your new role, leave old baggage at the door. Your new employer has hired you for a reason. They think you are great for the job and can add value to their business. Embrace the new environment and enjoy – a whole new career chapter awaits you!

Have you mastered the ‘art of the start’? What are your keys to succeed in a new role?

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