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Settling into a new role

Starting a new job? Nervous? Karen Young offers advice on how to calm your new job nerves

October 2015

You’ve got your exam results, decided to venture into a new job to continue your career and you’re now looking forward to starting your first day. Starting a new job is a challenge for a lot of people as they adjust to new project work, new customers, new routines, a new environment and, of course, a new team. Although you’ll have already impressed during your interview, the impression you make in your first few months will decide how you are perceived by your new employer and those around you in the team.
Get to know your environment
The early stages of your new job will be spent getting to know the company so it’s important to make sure you show enthusiasm about your new role while learning the ropes.
Take note and ask questions
Don’t forget to take notes during your induction. It will demonstrate that you are listening and give you something to refer back to as you take in lots of new information. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can in the first few weeks, you will not be expected to know all of the answers. Remember, the longer you leave it to ask questions the harder it will become. Referring to your notes before asking a question is also a really good way to demonstrate your ability to use your initiative, work independently and become trusted early on.
Understand your professional objectives
Most importantly, make sure you understand what the objectives, or KPIs, are for your probationary period, so you know how your progress will be measured. Take advantage of any opportunities to highlight any concerns to your manager, and make them aware of further training you feel you need to fulfil your role.
You should ensure that you are fully aware of what good performance looks and feels like in your new job, so you can aspire to achieve it. This will ensure that both you and your new manager know when to celebrate success, but equally as important, where you need to improve.
Regular formal and informal review meetings should be held within the first few months in order to check on your progress. Some organisations also have a mentoring or ‘buddy’ system in the probationary period – if they do, make sure you take advantage of this.
Agree any leave
If you are still studying for professional exams enquire about the correct procedures for exam absences or study leave and agree your leave with your manager as early as possible. Keeping your employer informed will help secure their support for your studies and help workload planning both for you and, of course, for the overall department. It is also helpful to ensure that your new employer is very aware of any planned holidays you have in your schedule as early as possible, if these have not been covered in your interviews.
It takes time to settle into a new organisation and many people have initial reservations that they quickly overcome. The first few months will pass very quickly, so take all the opportunities you can to get to know your new company and colleagues and make an early impact in your new role. Most of all, enjoy it!
For more information and access to job opportunities visit www.hays.co.uk/accountancy.
• Karen Young, Director, Hays Accountancy and Finance

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