Four Ways To Start a New Job Successfully

April 5 , 2022

Marni Gordon

The “Great Resignation” is here to stay.  As mentioned in Sophie Kobylinski’s article in Fast Company, 65% of working adults are looking for a new job according to a recent poll by PwC.  While I didn’t change companies during COVID, I took on a new role in another division of my company last year.  It is tough starting a new job in normal circumstances, but it was much harder to start something new in the pandemic.  Building relationships while working from home was more difficult as you couldn’t just walk down the hall and introduce yourself or meet for coffee with new colleagues.  I also needed to set up specific times to meet with my manager and coworkers to ask questions.  It’s harder to tell over Zoom if you’re fitting in and if you’re performing well.  

Starting Off On The Right Foot


While it was more difficult to start a new job working remotely during the pandemic, here are four tips that helped me start my new job successfully:  

  • Prepare for your first day.  Before I started my new role, I asked my manager to send me key documents to read in advance.  I also looked through our website and took notes on some initial ideas.  In addition, I organized my physical workspace at home and bought a brand new notebook to take notes.
  • Schedule virtual coffee chats. During the first few weeks in my new role, I scheduled one-on-one 30 minute virtual coffee chats with everyone on my new team.  I used the time to get to know each person, hear more about their roles/responsibilities, and their perspective on how I can add value to the team and the organization.  This was a great way to start building relationships with my new coworkers.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Kobylinski writes that you should “Know when you need help, and don’t be shy about asking for it”.  In the first few months, I kept a running list of questions every day and set up time with my manager or a key member of the team to get the answers.
  • Try to relax and enjoy your new job.  Starting something new can cause anxiety, but is also exciting.  If you try to focus on turning your nerves into excitement, you will have more energy to learn and listen to your colleagues. 

Leveraging some of these strategies is a great way to start your new job on the right foot and set yourself up for success.

4 Things You Must Do In Your First Week of a New Job (Fast Company)


Get To Know Your Manager


Setting up regular one-on-one meetings with your new boss can be an effective way to get to know their management style.  It is important to ask for regular feedback and work with your manager to define success to be sure you are meeting expectations.

Starting a New Job is Hard Enough. Here's How To Do It When You're Remote (CNN.com)


Set Clear Boundaries


In the first few months of your job, you should begin to set clear boundaries in order to allow you to do your best work.  It can be tempting to say yes to everything your manager and team wants to try to please everyone, but if you take on too much, this may effect your performance and work-life balance in the long term.

How to Succeed in Your New Job: The First Week, Month and 90 Days (Indeed.com)

Starting a New Job is Exciting!


Here’s an inspiring list of quotes to get you even more excited as you start your new job.  My favorite quote is:  "A new job is not a new beginning. It is a path to create a new ending." -- Unknown

 17 Motivating Quotes For Your First Day At A New Job (Inc. Magazine)

Career Chat with ..... John McCormick


Each issue, I’m going to chat with someone in our marketing community to learn from their career journey.  This week I spoke with John McCormick, VP, Agency Partnerships at AdNode to learn more about his career in marketing and his perspective on ways to start a new job successfully.

Q:  How did you start your career in marketing?

A:  I started my career in public relations during college.  As a sports fanatic, during my first week at school I walked into the PR office and was given a job in sports information. It actually was quite lucrative and fun for four years, and led to another four years at a small, old-school PR firm in Manhattan to which I returned after college.  But the position was focused on an oil and gas client, so to quench my thirst for sports I tapped a contact to work in production on ABC college football broadcasts on Saturdays. That led to a job at ESPN which was in the marketing department but really was a production job.  However, I took that experience and translated it into an ad-sales marketing role at Sports Illustrated.

Q:  What are some tips that you can share to start a new job successfully?

A:  Start doing the job before you start the job. After I accepted the spot at ESPN and before moving to Bristol, I went out to New Jersey to meet a vendor with whom I'd be working regularly.  Even though I never saw those people again, it got the working relationship off to a good start and went miles with my new boss.  Read even more about the company than you did preparing for the interview.  Tap your contacts to learn about the culture. Don't go in and make wholesale changes right away. You may need to bring in new people and systems, but check everything out for at least a couple weeks first.  Be respectful and, while it's okay to share how things operated at your previous job, don't overdo it.  You did, after all, leave that place.

Q:  How have you been able to start to build relationships in your first few weeks?

A:  If you're managing people: when establishing goals with your team, express that part of your job is helping your reports achieve the next step in their careers. It is indeed part of your job and will breed loyalty.  If not already planned for you, set up 15-minute meet & greets with a wide range of colleagues.  These can be at their desks or even better, over coffee (which you buy).  Don't be afraid, after a month on the job, to solicit feedback from colleagues at a few different levels, both above and below you.  Always be prepared to say something in meetings you attend; not just speaking for the sake of speaking, but something intelligent you've prepared in advance.  And certainly, always be positive!

Q:  What are the top lessons learned that other marketers can take away from your career journey?

A:  Separate from your "day job".  Keep a hand in an organization that both you enjoy and can help your career.  While I was working at least a sixth day every week, I was putting in 12-15 hours every Saturday at ABC Sports, which I loved ... and it led directly to my next full-time gig.  Over the past 15 years, I've been on the board of a 501c3 for marketers.  It's extremely fulfilling to help plan events for an organization which annually donates the proceeds from those events to multiple children's charities.  It affords me the opportunity to invite senior-level marketers -- to whom I happen to want to market/sell my product -- to be the featured speakers at the organization's events.  CMOs pick up the phone a lot faster when I'm calling on behalf of three children's charities.  Once that relationship is forged through the 501c3, I can respectfully pitch my wares.


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About Marni

Marni is an NYU certified executive coach and ICF member with over 25 years of leadership in the marketing, advertising, media, and events industries.

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