I started a new job; this is what I learned.
Last year I left a company and a role that I loved. Lucky for me, I joined a better company in a position that fits like a glove. For this transition, I relied on the strategies in the book, the first 90 days. A comprehensive and structured way to deal with changing roles and/or organisations.
Dealing with many new impressions, people, and cultures is exiting, overwhelming, and a very out of the comfort zone experience. Combining this with an important leadership role overseeing hundreds of engineers in a global organisation is a recipe for an enormous boost in your personal and professional development.
I finished my first hundred days, and my lessons learned are the following:
Do not react; observe.
In the first couple of months, no matter what your job is, sit back and observe. Why? To create a foundation to act upon. Do not only observe the projects or day to day activities but also observe people, behaviors and trust your gut when it comes to vibes, good and bad ones. An important note is not to act on them; notice and remember them. It will serve you in the future.
Ask a lot of questions
When you are new, this is easy. There is no reason not to ask questions. The funny thing is that people believe they are supposed to know a lot already when entering a new organisation in a senior role. Stop thinking that you cannot ask certain things, and ask them again. Re frame the questions and check If you understand them correctly. Why? Never make assumptions. Especially when you are in a leadership role, making assumptions when as a new joiner can seriously affect the perception of your people.
Deal with the insecurity
There will be moments when you start doubting yourself. Am I the right person? Do I have what it takes to get up to par fast? Do I even like this? It is called; being out of your comfort zone. It is painful, exhausting, and you might lose some sleep because of it. Just know this is temporary. You are being stretched and challenged, and the need to get up to speed extremely fast is what your organisation wants, although you will get the advice to slow it down and take your time to adjust. Be open about it, share it with your manager and ask if necessary for support.
You are starting a new chapter in your life; I certainly did. Change is dynamic and hit you with surprises. It doesn’t matter whether you are an extreme extrovert or introvert. To embrace the changes, stepping back, reflect and digesting what happened in the last couple of months adds to your resilience and capacity to dive deeper and deal with the insecurities that are part of the journey. Make sure you can share your observations, what you find silly or exciting, what energises you and where you likely need a dose of motivation to push through.
I am still at the start of this exciting journey, I will come across many different challenges, and I will need to take some time off to digest them. As long as I can stay close to my core, listen and challenge that little voice in my head, I will be fine.