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In this article, I would like to talk about the importance of trying to "fit in at your new job" in the first several weeks after joining. 

How to succeed in your new job: the first month of a new job

It is critical to fit in to the work culture and gain the trust from your colleagues, rather than being too eager for success. Let's look at the following checkpoints:

  • Understand and observe the local rules at your new workplace. First, do you follow what they are doing? Especially their own set of terminology, communication methods such as e-mail, and the way they create documents, etc.

  • Have you memorized your colleagues’ names? Do you intentionally say the names of the person you are talking to during your conversation?

  • Do you value and practice basic business manners such as greetings, Ho-Ren-So (Report, Communicate, and Consult), and being punctual to your appointments?

  • Do you consciously initiate conversations with people within your team and in other teams?

  • Were you able to find someone who could be a mentor, with whom you can consult with in times of need?

  • Looking back on your attitudes during the past few weeks, have you said, “I have done this way in my previous job” many times?

How was it? If you found some points you were not be able to practice, I encourage you to intentionally put them to practice as you have just joined the company and it is not too late to start.

I also would like to talk about some points which will help you to come up to the speed more smoothly in your next 60 to 90 days at the company if you practice them now.

Comparing and Adjusting your Manager's Expectations​

How a company accepts the mid-career hires varies greatly depending on the company, unlike for new graduates.  Some companies are equipped with providing onboarding trainings and "One-on-One"” meetings with his/her manager. On the other hand, many companies do not have such a mature system.

Expectations of an employer for a mid-career hire can be categorized into the following three items:

  • To add value as quickly as possible

  • To provide new value to the organization

  • To demonstrate leadership

After fitting in at a new workplace, creating the foundation for you to quickly bring results, you will start to contribute through your work at the new workplace. However, the important thing here is to know that there may be some gaps between what you think are expectations from the company and what your manager or your company expects of you.

The following are the results of a survey we conducted with clients and our placed candidates over several years, at points of pre-joining and post-joining. As you can see, while new joiner responded that there were very few gaps between their performance and the expectations before and after joining, the employer evaluated that they experienced more gaps in the new joiners performance versus the expectations pre and post-joining.

Gap between Expected and Actual Performance between the Company and New Joiners

(Research by en world)

As you have gradually settled into the new workplace, I recommend you to setup a meeting with your direct manager to confirm his/her expectations.

You may feel reluctant to initiate a conversation with your manager when both your manager and you are busy working every day. Even if it is not an “official” meeting, you may check the expectation of your manager casually during your break time, your lunch time, or when you are taking a break at the cafeteria, etc.  I often hear people saying that they don't know how to initiate a conversation with their manager. In such cases, it might be a good idea to arrange a meeting with your manager to show appreciation, provide a report from yourself on the last 30 days, and then ask for his/her advice. 

Tips on how to initiate conversation with your immediate manager:

  • "It has been 30 days since I joined the company. Thank you for your support over the last month. I have been engaging in my work for the past month, and I would like to get your advice on things to improve if you noticed anything."

  • "After working for the last 30 days, I have become quite familiar with my work and the new environment.  Have I been hitting the ground running as you expected?"

  • "It has been a month today since I joined the company. I think I have managed to catch up well with my work.  However, if there are some gaps between your initial expectation and your observation on my performance over the last month, please let me know."

  • "What do you think about my speed of catching up with work compared to your initial expectations?”  

  • “If you have anything that I need to be more aware of in my day-to-day work, please advise.”

Even if a company is used to accepting mid-career hires, there are cases where it is the first time for the hiring manager to accept a mid-career hire. In addition, the experience of accepting mid-career hires often varies greatly depending on the manager.

Essentially, it would be ideal if your manager provides the above feedback to a new mid-career hire without his subordinate, the mid-career employee seeking for his advice. However, as I mentioned earlier, depending on the company or the manager, they may not have a process in place to welcome mid-career hires or are not used to welcoming them.  In such cases, I encourage you to take initiative to start the conversation with your manager.  

Many of you may be joining the company as managers to supervise your subordinates. In that case, let’s remember to confirm what your subordinates what they expect from you as their manager, along with your expectations from them. It is extremely important to understand the expectations of your subordinates as much as understanding the expectations of your own manager.  

By knowing exactly what is expected of you from your manager, you will be able to incorporate strategies to meet your manager’s expectations in your action plan. I hope my suggestions will help you to become productive quickly at your new company for the upcoming several weeks.