Did you read “The first 90 days”? It’s the best book ever written about the transition process of a newly appointed person, whether it’s a new leadership role, a new job, or a new team. The principle there is that you have 90 days to prove.
They should have entitled it “The first 30 days”.
I’ve just completed Day 21 of my transition to a new job, and I can vouch that phase 3 is all about hard work.
At the beginning, you’re taken very lightly. Everyone is nice, they take the time to explain, you meet lots of new people, and you ask a lot of questions.
Then you start having the cultural shock. I moved to a company that is (in theory at least) very similar to my previous employer…and still had the trouble of not fitting in. Starting with the obvious – dress code – and going to the less obvious – internal jokes and how to deal with people.
Finally, after a few weeks, there’s the stage where you start delivering.
At the beginning it’s small stuff – but if you’re lucky like me, you might find yourself in the middle of strategies, where you need to contribute. And you have a choice – to either back out and say “I’m sorry, I’m new and can’t really handle this right now”, or to jump in the deep water.
Take a wild guess which is the right choice.
I stopped reading my emails (thankfully, I didn’t receive many anyway).
I worked in half-days or even full days on certain topics.
After coming from a highly fragmented job, where requests would pop in every minute, to work on just two big projects in one week was – almost – luxury.
I stopped checking email, internet, and Google Reader (I have a lag of hundreds of blog posts).
I read less and started mixing data and reports.
I started emitting judgments and suppositions. Of course, got my head knocked on the wall several times. But that’s the process of learning.
And – surprise – somewhere along the way, I started to fit in.
Now off to a well deserved weekend !