Work experience

Once the leaving do is over, the reality of starting your new job can begin to dawn. So how can you use your first 100 days to set you up right, from the start, for a long and successful career?

Firstly, plan a break between leaving the old and starting the new, enabling you to let go of the challenges and culture of your previous employer and start afresh, positive and energised. Put pen and paper aside and don’t be tempted to get into delivery mode as soon as you set foot in your new workplace to ‘prove’ your worth - that won’t help you in the long run.

Instead, keep your head up above the detail and focus on understanding the basic mechanics of the business, such as:

  • what does the business actually do
  • why does it exist?
  • why do we do it in that way?
  • how do we make money?
  • how do we lose money?
  • what do our customers say about us?
  • what makes your peers and team passionate about working here?

Gather the answers through getting out and meeting with your key stakeholders (who are unlikely to turn down a free coffee!) If you’re office-based, get out into stores, call centres and warehouses to experience the frontline reality as much as possible. If you’re in operations, organise a day or two at the support centre and meet the teams that interface with your role.

Ask who else you should be meeting with during your first 100 days. In return for their insights, and time, ask how you can help them, and schedule another opportunity to meet up after your transition period.

You’ll be absorbing lots of new information so schedule 15 minutes at the end of each day to reflect on new insights or learnings; a mind map is a visual and iterative way to do this. When ready, share these insights with your boss, peers or team who will be interested to hear your observations, ideas and outstanding questions.

Self-care is important too; ensure a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and sleep.

Finally, have confidence in why you were hired and the value you bring. Your new employer will want you to shine and make a difference so don’t hold back!