Starting a new job is an exciting but often a somewhat challenging process; it’s important to capitalise on first impressions, quickly understand your new environment and build relations that make a positive impact.  Here are a few tips from our candidates’ experiences at Mackenzie England on how you can hit the ground running in a new role:

More ears than mouth!

In the first few weeks it’s imperative that you spend a lot of time listening and learning rather that speaking!  Behave with an attitude that shows you deserve the role; but don’t be arrogant.  Find out as much as you can on the company, the actual role and the people.  Make sure you listen to information provided and take feedback on board from your manager and colleagues; it’s not a weakness to take notes and perhaps use a method of name association, so you can remember people’s names quickly.

Initial style

You must avoid the tendency to be too forceful initially; instead provide direction and encourage feedback.   Even if your style is to be “all over it”, refrain from micromanaging and observe to allow the team to do their best work.   Make every effort to be polite and “nice” to everyone and show genuine interest in your colleagues as individuals.  It’s just as important to get to know the admin team as it is the management team; they will have a lot of knowledge and you never know when they will be able to help you!

Understand what is expected of you

Get to understand what is really required of your role and your team; very often a job description provided at interview can vary from reality, so make sure you set very clear expectations both of your team and yourself.  Setting expectations is especially important if you are managing a team; hold initial meetings with your team so that you lay out what you believe success looks like and what you expect each of them to achieve and communicate widely, as and when you implement your inevitable change agenda.  You can’t deliver upwards if you have not set the expectations downstream to support the overall delivery.  Setting early targets and agreeing progress with superiors can be a good way to ensure that you are on the right track.

Aim to deliver short term goals

Don’t sit back and think that you have a bit of time to “settle in”; the initial period in a new role is the time to start proving you were the right candidate.  By accepting a job offer, you make an implied promise that you are capable of delivering.  Verify information and the objectives of your role, assess the business plan and gauge how the business is performing.  Identify where there are shortfalls and what changes or additions you can implement quickly to improve delivery.  Go the extra mile: if you show a decisiveness, determination and strong work ethic, your colleagues will know you mean business!

A job is more than a set of tasks

Understanding people dynamics plays a crucial part in your success, no matter what size the company.  A job is more than a set of tasks.  Teamwork is a major factor in why people get hired, fired, and promoted and it has a great deal of impact on your day-to-day experience at work, your sense of value and recognition.  Understanding the company culture will help you to know the system you are operating within, and help you build influence internally. Always remember that the best working relationships are based on respect and trust, which in turn are dependent upon actions and performance, not just on words.  Demonstrate a positive attitude and be a team player.

Remember this is your career but it’s also your life!

Whilst it’s important to hit the ground running, don’t become so caught up in the new role that you forget to be you!  Take a breather, relax and step away from it all.  Juggling work with a home life can be a challenge but it’s important that you find time to combine the new challenges with an exercise regime and family time. Your mind and body will thank you for it, and so will your career.


Pia England is director of executive search company Mackenzie England.  Based in central Scotland, serving the whole of the UK and working internationally, Pia and business partner Martin pride themselves in being distinctly different; they explore all options to help their clients identify and attract exceptional talent.  They will always be straightforward and honest, providing you with independent advice and guidance.  If you’d like to find out more please get in touch

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