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I GOT A NEW JOB! Now What?

April 09, 2012, 07:00 AM
Topic: Careers
Related: Career

Starting a new job – even in your professed field, is not like getting a new car. You don’t just jump in, turn the key and away you go happily ever after. As with all steps in your professional growth, you must tread carefully, think things through and watch and listen with gusto!

Sam is a 20+ year veteran in his profession. He just changed companies, but has the same job and responsibilities. He rightfully believed that he was hired due to his deep experience. So, Sam rushed into his new job, putting new processes in place and making changes right and left only to find that his peers did not appreciate his energetic “hit the ground running” persona. As time progressed, Sam felt that he did not have the respect of his peers at his new company, and he began to see his responsibilities being undermined. All-in-all he began to believe that during the interview process he had been sold a false bill of goods about the company and its culture.  As a result, Sam became a disgruntled employee who very shortly after starting his new job, was looking again for a new position.

What’s wrong with this picture? This happens all too often and although companies are greatly at fault for mismanagement, the onus is on the shoulders of the new employee to find a way to make things work. As you start a new job remember that unfortunately, no job is going to be perfect. No matter how well you interviewed the company leaders and employees, hiring is at best a 50/50 proposition – for both sides. It’s just the way corporate America is trained and set-up – we, and they, are always going to put their best foot forward during introductions.

Regardless of what is said during the interview process, and even with the best of intentions, there will always be differing personalities, conflicts around goals, communication errors and stress to get the job done. And of course, the proverbial manager who has been promoted to their level of ineptitude! It is up to you – the new employee, to figure it all out while getting the job done.

Know that when you start a new job, not all people in the company are going to respect you right out of the box – despite those long years of experience you possess. You are going to have to earn their respect and you are also going to need to figure out how to earn it. As you go around meeting with your new colleagues to understand their responsibilities, you have another – maybe more important job:  learn their personalities and what their potential “hot” buttons are, and determine their communication and management style. Ask questions and listen to the spoken and unspoken answers.

Use the knowledge you gain as you move forward in earning their trust. Some employees may be looking to you to be forthright and proactive with changes, while others may feel the same about the changes you plan to implement, but want them to be communicated to them prior to initiation. Others may feel that they should have input in the changes. Some employees may communicate only by email while others prefer face-to face interaction. Some may want long explanations with background information, while others may want the quick version.

Remember to be aware of employees who seem stressed, or those who may lash out at you for seemingly no reason. Be cognizant of the fact that you may not know all the duress they are under and the pressures may be coming down on them from the top. Be empathetic and sympathetic. It’s a juggling act, and it takes a lot of effort, but when done effectively, respect will follow and eventually make your job easier. 

Don’t get pulled down into the thought processes of “I don’t treat people like that so why do they treat me that way?”  or “Why isn’t this person told by his manager to {fill in the blank!}”  or “I was told this company’s culture is one of respect but I don’t see it!”. These might be very valid points – but ones that really have no bearing on the problems at hand. You cannot change people, nor can you change a person’s management style or give him/her the courage to manage appropriately. And living with the feeling that the company leadership and/or employees lied to you about the culture, will only make you more negative – it won’t change the culture! 

I know most of you don’t want to hear this – but get over it! Deal with the things that you can manage, not the things that you can’t. Develop your ability to be flexible and learn how to juggle different personalities and styles. 

If Sam had taken the actions outlined above, he would have been a better employee in the his new company, maintained a more positive and less-stressed attitude, and had more success in his job. He may have decided in the long run that it wasn’t the place for him anyway, but in the interim, he would have learned a lot about working  with different types of people and what works for him – to take along to the next new job.

Good luck out there – keep those balls in the air!

To view GG Companies company profile, click here.

To view job postings available from GG Companies, click here.

Gni Grossman
Founder | GG Companies
Gni Grossman is a principal at GG Companies, a human resources consulting and executive recruiting firm. She started this company after over twenty years as a human resources generalist with corporations such as The Hay Group and De Lage Landen and 5 years focusing on recruiting for the equipment finance industry at Molloy Associates, Inc. Gni holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins University.

Readers may contact Gni Grossman at and/or contact Gni at 781-859-5157.

[  View APN Profile for Gni Grossman  ]

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