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Career Insight

Published on April 14th, 2014 | by Scott Hutchinson


The Importance of the First Thirty Days in a New Role

Today I discuss five important points when starting a new role.  From getting to know the role and the company, to highlighting the importance of pacing yourself and projecting confidence.  Bring these qualities to a new role, and they will serve you well beyond the initial thirty days.

I’m one month into a new role and although I’d heard of the “First 100 Days” concept which is now firmly engrained into the general lexicon of business language, I’d not really taken much note of it myself.  They say that “doctors make the worst patients” and I guess the same concept is true for recruiters and business coaches.

There is a myriad of information online and volumes have been written on the importance of the First 100 days in your new leadership role.  To add to the concept here are my five top tips on surviving your first 30 days; written in hindsight after starting in March for Alium, after working for ten years as an independent consultant and business owner.

Pace Yourself in your Role

If you are anything like me then you will go charging in and want to change everything and make a difference overnight. A new leadership role requires a lot of emotional and physical energy – great athletes understand the need for downtime – so do great business leaders.  Ensure you pace yourself to avoid burnout.

Get To Know the Business

Not just the systems, but the personalities and the people. Even if your job is home-based, this first month is a critical month to spend as much time in the office as possible. You will not pick up the culture on the road or at home. You won’t be able to understand a business unless you are in it.

Switch On

Now more than ever you are going to have to “switch on”, and quickly learn as much as you can in as little time as you can. In my case, a new IT system needed to be adopted very quickly – it meant reading the manuals in my spare time.  Focus.

Back Yourself

You were chosen for a reason and probably after a lengthy interview process. Be confident – a lack of confidence is totally understandable – self-doubt shows self-awareness and moral strength, but it is not needed in month one. You are good enough so go out and prove it in your new interim leadership role.

Begin With the End in Mind

All successful individuals have goals and articulate these goals. They write them down and review them regularly. Make sure you do the same. Set goals (no matter how big or small) for the first 100 days in your new role.

What are your business goals when starting a new role?  Do you follow the points highlighted above or do you take a different approach?  How confident are you when you take on a new position?  Please leave your comments below.

Photo Credit: Ferlistockphoto

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About the Author

Heading up the FMCG Practice, Scott and his team are responsible for finding the very best leaders and transformational teams across all disciplines, including the provision of board-level executives and professionals in Operations, Technical, Supply Chain, Engineering, Commercial and Development/Innovation.

  • Patsy Huckle

    I like this article. Concise, not fluffy. Easy to identify with and useful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Scott Hutchinson

    Thank you for your kind words Patsy – you have summed up my
    style very eloquently! Scott.

  • Ian Kirkby

    Thanks, Scott. Useful advice in a concise article.

    • Scott Hutchinson

      Thanks Ian – the one that I missed off is probably “ be careful
      - first impressions last” If you make a blooper on day one then it could be
      what defines you for the rest of your tenure.

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