3 Pro Tips For Starting Your New Job

3 Pro Tips For Starting Your New Job

A few weeks ago, we dropped our son off at college for his freshman year. We’ve done this several times now, but the emotions are all still the same.

As I was trying to relate to my son about how to acclimate to a new state, new people, a new school, a new everything, I was reminded of a study I read one time a long time ago.

The study said that if you can walk into a room, and identify eight people that you recognize and feel like you have a connection to, then you will feel at home. Maybe not home like home-cooked meals from mom, but you’ll feel like you belong. The study went on to say that this applies no matter how large the room is, and matter how many people in the room you don’t know at all.

So my advice to my son was to spend the first week of school with a goal of getting to know eight people.

Then it dawned on me that this could be great advice for anyone starting a new job, moving to a new city, starting a new business, or venturing out into any new endeavor.

We spend our time helping top organizations identify new talent. One of the common slip-ups of new hires, irrespective of how talented the new hire is, is that they don’t feel like they fit in.

What if he was an employer were to sit down and dream of a way to create eight connections for your new hires within the first two weeks? That might sound like not doing work and doing relationships instead. But how much does a bad hire really cost? When people come to us to help them find their top talent, I always tell them that the most expensive hire you will ever make is hiring the wrong person.

Failure in hiring can lead to a loss in momentum, revenue, and time to replace the person that didn’t fit in.

Maybe the solution to having someone fit into your community is as simple as setting a goal of helping them identify eight new connections.

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For those of you starting a new job, the advice would apply the same. We’re still in the middle of the great Covid job churn, which we predicted long before it hit the news. And I think it’s here to stay for a while. People will be changing jobs for at least the next 24 months at unprecedented rates.

So when you start your new job, make sure you’re getting your work done, but also make sure that you’re taking time to make new connections. A few tips for making those connections, as I have seen them in the tens of thousands of candidates that I’ve seen start new work.

1. Don’t come on too strong. We’ve all met the person who walks in the room and announces their presence with authority and charisma and very quickly becomes the annoying loud person at work. Take the time to meet new people, but do it in a way that is winsome and not overworked.

2. Ask people about themselves. In my experience interviewing tens of thousands of candidates over the years, people are always ready to talk about themselves. Maybe that’s a sad fact, maybe it’s just what people are experts on, but it’s a truth. The smartest people I see when meeting new individuals, focus almost all of the conversation on the other individual. In fact, the most successful people I’ve met, whether that’s presidents, governors, corporate leaders, or any other almost always spend their time making sure the conversation is not about them, but it’s about the other person in the conversation.

3. View connections as a marathon, not a sprint. Not to sound like a salesperson, but don’t try and close the friendship in your first meeting. Every good salesperson knows that the point of a sales call is not to close the sale, but to encourage the next sales call. Treat new connections with the same mindset. Your new interactions with people should begin with a goal in mind of them wanting to interact with you again. This probably means your first interactions are shorter and less intense than you might think.

I’m still learning as I go, but one week into school our son has made several new connections and is already feeling more and more at home. I think the lesson of this study, and what I was reminded of this week was helpful to me. And I hope it’s helpful to you, whether you are entering into a new environment, starting a new business, a new job, or moving to a new city.

We’re in a time of unprecedented shuffling of people and places. And now more than ever we need to make sure we make connections so that no matter where we are we can feel at home.

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