‘New year, new job’ may be a tired recruitment cliché but on the first working day of 2016, it will be a reality for me. It’s been great to meet up with my new boss ahead of my first day and my brain is already whirring with ideas for the first priorities we discussed over lunch. (Lunch on the new boss is a very civilised way to start a new job and I heartily recommend it to anyone!)
I know at least one of my Twitter network is also off to a new role so it struck me that today is a good day to share tips and ideas for surviving, delivering and, of course, enjoying the first 100 days.
These are extended thoughts from the points I contributed to a hand little guide produced by Gatehouse Group. The full version includes tips from other comms pros and you can download it here.
1. Don’t neglect your LAST 100 days in the old job. How you leave is as important as how you arrive.
2. Go on tour: get out and about to the frontline – call listening, the shop floor, the factory canteen – and drink a lot of coffee with people doing real jobs in the real world.
3. Listen, absorb, digest: learn what recent sources of insight are saying, from the satisfaction survey to channel metrics.
4. Beware red deckchairs: just because something worked well at your old place doesn’t mean it’s right for the new one. Strike the words “When I was at…” from your vocabulary.
5. Look for quick wins: where can you get involved with a project and deliver results? And there’s nothing wrong with keeping a list of your achievements in your first three months. You’ll soon forget them as the days begin to fly by and you get down in the detail.
6. Mind the gap: talk to the CEO, the Board, your senior stakeholders and your team to see what they think your role is there to do.
7. Start close to home: The most useful question I asked my virtual team was “What do you want from my role – and what’s the WORST thing I could do?”
8. Find a compass: someone who can help you navigate the structure and counsel you on how things will land. In my past that has sometimes been my boss, but it’s also been a switched-on HR Business Partner and a team leader in a customer contact centre who I met in my second week.
9. Get to know the real power-holders: the directors’ PAs, the Facilities teams, all important to have on side as you’ll be calling on their support. Ditto if you work somewhere with in-house design or printing facilities. Take them a tin of biscuits and go and learn how their set-up works and what they can offer.
10. Wear an awesome frock. Never underestimate the power of sartorial armour / confidence trickery.
Best of luck if you’re starting or seeking your next internal comms role in 2016! And if you’re looking for ways to be extra awesome in your existing job, take a look back at my New Year’s Resolutions for comms folk.