By Katy Beth Cassell and Danielle Devery
We both started new jobs in early June (on the same day!), and as exciting as it was, it also was a huge adjustment. Our new jobs took us to larger organizations where we had new skills to learn, busier schedules, and more responsibility. But we’re happy to report that after three months, we are settling in nicely to our new positions. Looking back, we came up with four important things to do within 90 days of starting a new job.
Develop Relationships and Learn Company Culture
Learning the culture of your new organization is crucial when first beginning a new job. Ask your supervisor who you should get to know. Invite those people out for lunch or coffee. Building relationships early can help when you have questions or need help down the road. Most important, when building these relationships, don’t just focus on those above you, but also those who are on your same job scale – having support on all levels is a key asset.
Once the hustle and bustle of orientation and training is over, it’s important to understand the “calendar” of your department and organization. Find out about any weekly or monthly meetings you’re expected to prepare materials for. If you have events to promote, ask your communications team for its editorial calendar to know when you need to submit information by. More than likely, your department has a “crunch time” during a certain part of the year – ask when it is. Once you understand the schedule of when things happen and what you’re expected to contribute, you can develop a routine for managing your daily, weekly, and monthly job duties.
While you know the job tasks specified in the initial job description, be sure to set up a meeting with your supervisor within the first 90 days of your new job to discuss expectations and develop a plan of action. Decide which projects you will handle, and what metrics will be used to determine success. Doing early groundwork on a work plan will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it is time for your annual review.
Strive for Work-Life Balance
No two jobs or organizations are alike, so finding the sweet spot for balancing work and your personal life is important. You might be expected to work longer hours or an occasional event on the weekend, and it might be overwhelming to see many of your colleagues working through lunch or responding to emails after hours. Remember, everyone works differently, so you shouldn’t conform to a work style you aren’t comfortable with. If you have questions about how much or how long you should be working and when, ask your boss for feedback on what he or she expects from you. If it’s taking you longer to get something done, ask for help. The last thing anyone wants is for you to get burnt out.
Navigating the transition period into a new job can be tough. But, if you follow these four pieces of advice, the transition can at least go more smoothly.
Katy Beth Cassell and Danielle Devery are co-chairs of the YNPNdc Communications Committee. Katy Beth is the Development Coordinator for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Danielle is a Web Editor at The Advisory Board. You can follow both of them on Twitter: @kbismyname and @dcdevery.