Starting a New Job? 3 Common Mistakes To Avoid

Starting a New Job? 3 Common Mistakes To Avoid

You finally landed a new job at your dream company. Now, it is time to prepare for your first week, your first month, and your first 90 days. What steps can you take to effectively prepare for your new job? How do you ensure success as you onboard at your new company? What mistakes should you avoid at your new company?

Mistakes To Avoid When Starting a New Job

Here are three mistakes to avoid to ensure you successfully hit the ground running in your new role:

1. Not conducting a listening tour at your new organization.

While it may be tempting to enter your new organization and immediately take action, you want to avoid the common mistake of moving too swiftly without first building relationships. Subsequently, you want to devote significant time developing relationships, gaining influence, and understanding your new company’s culture during your first 90 days at your new organization. After all, you cannot successfully implement changes operating in a silo.

One way to help convert your ideas into action is by conducting a listening tour at your new organization. Meet with your most important stakeholders to hear their key concerns, allow them the opportunity to voice their major barriers and roadblocks, and learn how your role can help set your stakeholders up for success.

Additionally, take time to get to know your colleagues and clients on a personal level during your first 90 days. Those initial few months in your new job are an opportunity to really leverage being the new employee within the organization. Aim for at least one to two coffee chats per day as you ramp up at your new company.

2. Speaking more than you listen.

Next, I want you to think about the relationships at your new organization like a bank account. You want to make notable relationship deposits before you attempt to take relationship withdraws. This is because your account will quickly become overdrawn if you take large relationship withdraws before you make relationship deposits.

You can mitigate the common mistake of overdrawing too early by listening more than you speak during your onboarding period. This is particularly important if you are a manager or executive who needs to influence large groups of cross-functional stakeholders.

I challenge my career and executive coaching clients to only ask coaching questions during their listening tours and initial stakeholder meetings. While this is more challenging than it sounds, it allows my clients to demonstrate their coaching prowess as well as collect critical information that will set them up for future success in their new organizations.

3. Forgetting to revisit your 90-day new job onboarding plan.

Finally, remember to take time to update – or create – your 90-day onboarding plan. Although you may have developed a draft onboarding plan during your interview process, you want to iterate the plan after you join your new employer and get to know the company, the culture, and the distinct pain points facing the organization.

Consider asking yourself these questions as you develop your onboarding plan and strategy:

  • What pain points and areas of opportunity were uncovered during my listening tour?
  • What actions can I take to immediately add value to my new employer?
  • How can I make my boss and my boss’s boss look good?

This list is just a start to help you hit the ground running in your next role. As you enter your new organization, remember to get buy-in for your ideas, speak more than you listen, and revisit your onboarding plan. You’ve got this!

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  • May 17, 2023