The first day of a new assignment probably feels for everyone like landing on an unknown planet. New location, new colleagues, new business unit, new tasks & assignments… and for me as well new language (I landed in a mainly Dutch-speaking environment).
My approach was to go step by step. Take a notebook with me and write down anything that might help me later. Especially all the names of the people I got to know and their function within the organization.
Most important things to do in the first week?
Ask your colleagues to take you to meetings with them, read through the internal knowledge website to get a better grasp about what the department is doing and to understand the context around, and most importantly: Ask a lot of questions!
It is also very important to clarify your role and expectations of your manager. What is the deliverable? How can I get there? With whom will I work the closest with to achieve it?
You never walk alone
Fortunately there was a lot of support from the company to grow into my new role. I experienced that my colleagues were very friendly and happy to answer my questions. Furthermore, it is always good to remember that I am not alone. Meeting with the other trainees for lunch and sharing first experiences helped me a lot in my orientation process. The trainee program also provides us with buddies (trainees from the last year who did a similar assignment before) and coaching opportunities to guide us throughout the next 2 years.
To Do: Week 2
After a week with plenty of meetings, coffees to get to know people and reading anything that might be valuable in the future, I felt like I already had a better understanding of the new world that I had just entered.
Next step for me was then to figure out where I could directly add value and when it would be best to first listen and learn how my colleagues were doing it. As a German I was positively surprised that managers immediately asked me for my view and opinions. I knew already before the program started, that the next 2 years will be full of challenges and situations out of my comfort zone.
But I am happy to say: Challenge Accepted!
Are you also up for the challenge but do you have some questions first? Feel free to reach out to me via Maximilian.Bergauer@nn-group.com.