A Note to New Hires
By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group
Most new employees think they have a few months to acclimate to their new work environment, but today’s employers expect them to adjust much quicker and start making immediate contributions. In fact, advertising and marketing executives recently interviewed by The Creative Group said it takes just nine weeks, on average, to determine if an employee is well suited for the job.
What does this mean for those starting a new role? Basically, you need to be prepared to fit in fast. Here are some tips for adjusting to a new position and making an immediate, positive impact:
- Clarify your job duties. Within the first few days, meet with your manager to discuss your responsibilities, immediate priorities and how your position fits into the big picture. Also ask how often and in what form you should provide project updates, as well as how your performance will be evaluated. A clear understanding of what’s expected will help you do your job more effectively.
- Observe communication styles. Pay attention to how your manager and teammates, as well as employees outside of your department, exchange information. Is it through e-mails, phone calls or face-to-face conversations? Clarifying peoples’ preferences in advance will help ensure your messages are well received.
- Make an extra effort. Become an invaluable resource to your new employer by going beyond the call of duty. Volunteering for new assignments, even if they fall outside of your immediate job description, will allow you to learn about new areas of the operation while demonstrating your willingness to help others in the organization. Just be careful not to overextend yourself –you won’t make a positive impact if you stretch yourself too thin right out of the gate.
- Take time to socialize. While you want to send the message that you are a hard worker, you also want to form effective working relationships with your new colleagues as soon as possible. These contacts may be your strongest allies during your tenure with the firm and play a key role in your ability to accomplish your most important objectives. So make time to attend team lunches, trainings and offsite events.
- Solicit feedback. While your company may not provide formal performance appraisals to new employees, it’s a good idea to get feedback during your first few weeks. Consider asking your supervisor for a brief meeting to discuss your performance to date. This early feedback can indicate where you need to improve and what you’re doing well so you can exceed expectations in the weeks and months ahead.
Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at www.creativegroup.com.