Now You Have Been Selected….

Posted by & filed under Executive Coaching.

Now you have been selected.
You are anxious, and happy that you got that dream job.
You are on your way to your first day at work.
You want to make a stellar first impression.
Manicure, pedicure, hair: all done.
You even bought a new outfit – and although it still does not feel like “you” – you will make it your “new you”!
You want to make a stellar first impression.
You hear that someone from your team wanted to get the job, but that they hired you instead. You make a mental note to befriend them.
You are determined, positive and pumped.
“Ain’t no mountain high enough..”… hum to yourself.
Your positive pep talk works. You can do it. You can do it. You can do it!
You smile on the street. And don’t care that you are the only one doing that.
You want to make a stellar first impression.
And nothing will put a dent on your desire.
You arrive at the office.
All around you, people are full of niceties. For a moment. And then everyone runs back to their activities, meetings and important tasks. 
You are taken to your new office.
The new laptop is shining and still has the plastic cover over the top.
It smells new.
The smile returns to your face.  Or has it never left?
You have a meeting scheduled with your boss.  A meet-and-greet with the rest of the floor is also scheduled.
You enter the office and she asks, after the standard hello-and-how-are-you, “So… what are your plans for the day?”


Are you prepared? Or were you counting on the organization to have an onboarding program for you?

Have you thought through your integration strategy?


Here are a few pointers to get you through your first few weeks.

1. Don’t count on the organization having a plan for you. Even if they do, you might want to have a say as to what is most important and relevant for you.

2. Give yourself permission to be in learning mode for the first 4 weeks (in reality you will need at least 18 months…)

3. Observe, ask and listen – you don’t have to have an opinion yet.

4. Have an introduction for yourself prepared in advance – what do you want them to remember about you?


6. Know who your stakeholders are and take the time to meet them and build rapport.  Remember point number 3 – show interest in what they do, find out what their priorities, prides and worries are.  Gain full understanding of existing and potential synergies between their mandate and yours. Talk a bit about yourself and the fit between you and your role.  Build credibility.

7. Don’t assume your team is either a group of superheroes or a bunch of nitwits.  Properly and prudently assess their understanding of team deliverables, their roles, intra-dependencies, capabilities and motivators.  Conversations in groups and one-to-one help to reinforce alignment and observe effectiveness and dynamics within the team.  Remember point number 3 – lead through insightful questions.

8. Gain full appreciation of the organizational structure and the way the organization functions – these are typically two different things.

9. Read up on the vision (again, since you have seen it already, no?), mission and values of the organization and check if these are just the printed statements or if the organization indeed values the Team Collaboration, Customer First etc.

10. Understand the corporate strategic direction and poke holes in strategy – your views are fresh, and although you might want to be very sensitive in when you share these views – it is good to be prepared and grounded.

11. How many times do you make reference to your previous job, the other organization?  Bite your tongue….“in my old company we did it differently” sounds fresh only the first week or so… lose it quickly.

12. Know if your group’s vision and strategic direction aligns with the organizational vision and direction.

13. You are ready to start thinking about your first quick wins – What are they? Who needs to be involved? How do you go about the deployment?

14. Breathe.

14. Lastly… with whom do you talk about all this? Your spouse? Your buddy? Your peers? Your peers from “the other company”? Your boss? Your Team?

Think of an integration coach – a non-biased person who can help you stay sane and articulate in the first 3-6 months on the job.  Who can help you put strategies and plans in place, balancing gaining an appreciation of the new organization and new role with building credibility and making sure you not only make a stellar first impression – but build a solid foundation for the successful years to come.

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