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Published by Harmonia Norah, 2017-06-28 07:29:21

first 90 days

first 90 days


In those critical first months in a new job, how you manage
your transition can be the difference between success and

outright failure. By Jane Downes.

F irst impressions count – and never more so when you THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME
are starting a new job. Your approach and behaviour,
whether you like it or not, is being assessed in those Those with Imposter Syndrome are convinced that they are
early days. And, unfortunately, it’s during those frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved,
first few months when you are busy finding your despite any past evidence of competence. Shockingly, this
feet that the most lasting impressions are made about you. In is more common than you would believe among managers.
categorising people, we all take short cuts, and first impressions Coupled with this, the role of the ‘enforcer’ in today’s new
about people often turn into long-term opinions, perceptions economy of change can be incredibly onerous. And the
and reputations about ‘brand you’. But it’s not all bad news: problem is made ten times worse, in my opinion, by the silly
there is often an unofficial grace period while you settle into cultural pressure to never show weakness or uncertainty. In
your job but, even so, you still need to be on high-alert within my experience of coaching managers through the first three
the first crucial 90 days, and here is why… months on their new job, I have observed that many people find


themselves successful in getting offered a THE SECOND- COMMUNICATE
role, but then realise that they may well be GUESSING GAME YOUR WORTH
out of their depth. As a result, the first 90
days of their new job can go a few ways: Self-regard is the cornerstone of In order to show your worth
really well, somewhat well, or horribly being an effective manager. Without and put a value on yourself,
wrong. I’ve worked with some new starters this, we second-guess ourselves and you need to keep these aims
who rationalise that they are only in their hit more than our fair share of road in mind when communicating
role because they oversold themselves at bumps as a result. This especially with colleagues. It is your
interview. Of course, now that they are in rings true in the first 90 days of a job to influence those around
the job, they can’t advertise this. However, new job. The power of ensuring you you, and we communicate our
I’m sceptical about this attitude. The are having the right conversation worth by the very act of how
rigorous interview techniques employed with yourself in the early days of a we communicate. Build on
today and the unprecedented pressure new job is not to be underestimated. success strategies like listening
on organisations to hire the right person Tune into what you are saying to understand and speaking to
make it unlikely you were hired without about yourself and practice positive be understood. Learn the art of
some pretty convincing, objective evidence inner conversations: leave room asserting yourself politely, and
that you were up to the job. So remember only for the voice which will allow saying no. This will get you buy
this feeling is just new-job jitters, and you keep on top of the task. Try in from others and add to your
second-guessing is actually quite normal. calming sentences like “I am on success bank in the early days
Your task as your own career manager is track” or “One step at a time.” Ask of your new job. Remember one
to seize control early on and handle how yourself, “What’s the smartest way thing: Your task is not to play
you react to this. to handle this?” and “What do I Superman. As a manager, your
need to start doing?” Remember that role is to be a transformative
WHAT CAN nobody expects you to solve all of figure in the company. The
GO WRONG? the organisation’s problems on your way you do this is to show up
first days on the job nor do they as someone who constantly
When starting a new role, some people expect that you know everything, monitors her own performance,
feel unable to do the job to the level it so relax a bit. Ask questions or ask and someone who is fearless
needs to be done. If this sounds like you, for help when you need it. Unless when it comes to questioning
ask yourself what level you think the you are gifted with a photographic practices and structures that
job requires? And what exactly would a memory (which unfortunately few of are holding the company back.
person able to reach that level look like? us are), consider taking notes on all Sometimes putting internal
You need to examine these questions the various systems and rules of play system changes on the agenda
calmly and objectively for they hold the that you experience early on in your can be the single most important
key to your predicament. Consider the new organisation. Bear in mind that early contribution of a dynamic
possibility that no-one could get on top it is also your job to set and manage manager who has inherited a
of this job 100 per cent for the simple expectations with your boss. It is not large unit. That’s the first part.
reason that the workload and demands good enough to have your boss set The second part is to start
are just too much for one person. Is this her expectations of you, without you visualising the kind of person
your fault? No. Does that get you off setting your expectations in terms who would meet your ideal of
the hook? No. It is up to you to flag the of resources needed to do your job. a brilliant senior manager. How
issue and ask for resources or company- Put a worth on your role and request would she make decisions?
specific training. This is not a show of what you need in order to perform How would she enforce them?
weakness, it is a show of competence – this will increase your respect and How would she manage time?
and self-assurance, and an ability to be personal effectiveness. How would she prioritise? How
resourceful on the job. Hiding behind would she exert control without
your desk will not allow you to make “Remember, it’s losing empathy or creating
the early strides you need to make. unlikely you were tension? Get to know this
How about more effectively utilising hired without person. Intimately. And then start
your in-built emotional intelligence some pretty imitating them. Shamelessly. Act
skills when you commence a new role? convincing, this part, down to the very last
Our emotional intelligence skills are objective evidence detail. The results will astonish
our ability to handle others and what that you were up you. Finally, if you figure you
happens around us. After all, you may to the job” need it, get some professional
be as sharp as a tack, but if you cannot coaching to assist you through
convey that to others, you might be in this transition period and to lock
trouble. Emotional intelligence skills in an effective game plan for the
make us successful. For example, a study early days of your new role.
of 130 executives found that how well
people handled their own emotions
determined how much people around JUNE 2015 IRISH TATLER 149
them preferred to deal with them.

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