John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker LLC
Congratulations! You’ve landed a great new job in business valuation, which means the hard work is done, right? Not entirely. While you should of course enjoy the feelings of success, you will soon need to be focusing on your first day and weeks in your new role so you can make an impact.
Many of you will have joined on a probationary period, (standard practice in many firms), and progression past the probationary period should not be taken for granted as a study by the Wynhurst Group shows that 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment – and a Leadership IQ study shows that 46% of new hires will fail within 18 months.
So, with new employees being at higher risk of premature departure, it makes sense for joiners to come armed with an effective, personal new joiner strategy. What might this strategy look like? Well, consider this study from Accountemps which asked 1,400 senior finance professionals what their five toughest challenges were when starting a new job, and the top two by some clear way were: ‘Learning new processes and procedures‘ and ‘Getting to know a new boss and co-workers. This should give you some idea of where to be focusing your personal new joiner strategy.
Now, you may be lucky enough to have joined a company with a great orientation program, but, if not, your main focus should be on clarifying a list of goals and learning objectives with your manager and creating a time line with milestones so you can check you are on track.
Another key area to think about in the early weeks is developing a strong internal network. Establish who the ‘go-to people’ in the business are; these are folks who can help you to find out information and get things done. Studies show that employees who develop a strong internal network and understanding of ‘how things work’ tend to be the most effective.
Ideally, you should be networking intensively in the first few weeks and months by attending as many after work functions as possible as well as lunching and taking coffee with team members regularly. This will help you to build your network and move in different circles. You’ll also learn company jargon and become familiar with operational practices and values. All this will help you to culturally acclimatize yourself. Try to identify high performers and role models and mimic or inquire about their practices and techniques as a means of developing your own performance.
Don’t forget to put in some checks and balances on how things are going. While it’s important that you establish your probationary period goals, it’s not wise to simply wait until the end of the probationary period for feedback. Ask for regular feedback from your manager on how things are going and try to schedule an interim review so you have plenty of time to correct things if they go off course.
Good luck in your next new role.