The first few weeks are critical. Will you use the opportunity to establish yourself and create momentum, or flounder around and sow seeds of failure?
If you’re a contractor, it’s likely that you’ll also be expected to have the ability to hit the ground running. You may also have been specifically asked at interview how you were going to achieve that. So what’s your plan?
Here are five things to consider:
Do your research –
Hopefully you researched your company to prepare for your interview. Keeping those key facts fresh in your mind will provide a springboard for you to accelerate your initial orientation. Knowing some key information about your new employers will also help improve your credibility during your initial conversations.
Identify key people to meet –
Work out up front who you want to meet. Sure, you don’t know the names of all your new colleagues yet, but you know about similar roles that are performed generically across organisations, and as a communicator you will want to engage them early on. Don’t wait for a formal induction – have your own hit list ready.
Agree objectives with your boss ASAP –
You can’t focus your efforts on achieving results until you have identified what your priorities are. Don’t wait on your boss for the answer to this – talk to people and find out what their communications challenges are and how you can help. Push for an early meeting with your manager to agree objectives.
Identify quick-wins –
Long-term communications planning is fine and provides a solid foundation for future communications work, but if you are not visible to key internal stakeholders, you may begin to lose their confidence and support. Alongside long-term heavyweight communications activities, also design-in high impact activities which are relatively quick to deliver.
Keep an open mind –
It’s all very well moving quickly and boldly, but knowing your own mind shouldn’t also mean having a closed mind. Having a clear purpose and direction, and a sense of urgency, are all good things but determination to succeed shouldn’t blind you to other avenues and possibilities which may open up en route. And of course, goals also change.