“I found my next Digital Media job. What’s next?”
You researched numerous Digital Media companies, scoured the LUMAchart, interviewed with your target companies, and now finally landed your next gig. It’s been a challenging process, but it’s not over.
Now it’s time to think about what you need to do to set yourself up for success in the long-run. They say it takes 6 months to get fully comfortable with your new role and company. Think of your first several months with your new company as an opportunity to show them that they made the right choice. Here is a list of tips to use, from the moment you give notice to your current employer through your first few months with your new employer, to ensure a successful transition:
Before Your First Day
- Don’t burn bridges. Whether your job has been a fabulous experience or a brutal existence, act the part of the model employee during your final days in the office. Keep all communication, both written and oral (including your resignation letter) totally professional and thoughtful. Do what you can to ease the transition for your boss and your soon-to-be former the colleagues. Digital Media/Media Technology is a small world. You don’t know who knows who, and you never know when your paths may cross in the future.
- Ask for a Reference. Your new employer did not have a chance to call your old one because you were still working there. But that is not to say that you won’t need them as a reference down the road. So, consistent with “don’t burn bridges”, leave in such a way that when you ask if they’ll be a reference in the future they’ll say “yes”. Ask for their personal email or cell number if you don’t have it, in case when you need them, they are not with your former company anymore.
- Continue to Learn. Before your job begins, continue learning as much as you can about the organization, its competitors, and its place in the Digital Media “ecosphere”. Ask for access to information related to your new role if they can make it available. If possible, set up time to meet with new associates before your start date to get those introductory meetings out of the way.
During Your First Week
- Make friends. Corporation “politics” are unavoidable, so make friends. There’s more to know about a company than meets the eye, or what you’ll find in the employee handbook. Have ongoing conversations with your manager and colleagues to learn the unofficial rules, company politics and corporate culture. Always say “yes” to lunch with a co-worker.
- Set expectations. Request a meeting with your new manager to learn what is expected of you over the first 30, 60 and 90 days on the job. If you’re successful during these time periods, what will you have learned or accomplished? Use this information to set goals for yourself, and gain a better understanding of your manager.
- Inform your Network. Update your LinkedIn profile, and any other place your job is listed as a part of your “digital footprint”. Also, let your network of professionals know where you’re now working, what you’re doing. Use this as an opportunity to set up a call, meeting or lunch for those in your network with whom you would like to do business.
Your First Month to Three Months
- Produce Measurable Results. If you are a Digital Media Account Executive, build up your pipeline immediately and work towards closing some low-hanging fruit. If your job is in Account Management, Marketing, or other relate role, take charge of a project you know you can deliver on, and then make sure that you do. Work from home and/or on the weekends to insure that your first several months highlight your value to the company.
Record your job successes as soon as you start your new role, and maintain notes throughout. It will make preparing for your annual review and updating your resume that much easier in the future.
- Find a mentor. Connect with a senior colleague at your new organization who you admire, and who is well thought of in the company. A mentor who’s been with the company for a while will be able to teach you the ins and outs of the place, help you navigate corporate politics, and introduce you to the right people and resources to move your career along.
- Show Enthusiasm. No matter if the transition is difficult or easy, continue to show the passion for the job you demonstrated during the interview process. Smile, accept demanding assignments with enthusiasm, and deal with difficult problems as exciting challenges.
- Gain Your Boss’s Trust. Your relationship with your manager is critical in all areas of your work life. Make sure you keep your manager informed the way he/she wants to be informed. Get back to them with their requests and questions in a timely fashion.
Communicate powerfully around deadlines – if you have a ‘by when’ date, keep that date. If you can’t, let your manager know ahead of time and see if you can counter-offer with a new deadline. The key is communication and no surprises.
What not to do
- Be late for work
- Be arrogant or cocky
- Get involved in gossip
- Appear judgmental or close-minded
- Take sides
- Look for romance in the workplace
- Reveal too much about yourself
- No “turf wars” over leads (if you’re in sales) – give more than you take, and this will come back to you down the road
As exciting as it is to start a new Digital Media job, you’ll need time to acclimate while still producing in your job. There will be a lot to learn, so don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Use these tips to help in your successful transition to your new role.