Congratulations…You got the job…Now don’t do something stupid!

I have been an IT recruiter for over 20 years (yikes!), and I was an IT Hiring Manager for several years prior.  It goes with the territory then, that I end up placing many senior Project Managers, Directors, Line Managers, etc. It amazes me year after year that seemingly bright, educated, worldly and experienced candidates make so many “career limiting moves” (“CLM’s” as we used to call them at Andersen Consulting) upon starting a new job. Here are 3 very common CLM’s that you definitely don’t want to make in the first few months after getting that new job:

  1. Getting too comfortable right off the bat – Many senior staff have been at their previous companies for a long time; they were well known, respected and had the ear of senior management and their staff.  Coming to a new place, they ‘assume’ that seniority, and the perks and benefits that go with it.  I had a new manager start recently and when his director didn’t show up for a meeting, he decided to leave for a few hours to run some personal errands and not tell anyone where he was going.  Needless to say, the communication wasn’t there, and his superiors were more than a little concerned.   A few days later, he left to have a service delivery man come to his home for the “four hour window” – again, without communicating. The client knew they had a real potential long-term problem on their hands.  They told me that they didn’t think this candidate was committed to the company or serious about his job.
  2. Becoming too friendly/chummy with your staff – I have seen many a situation where a manager wants to be friends with the team, and not their leader.  After a month on the job, one manager went as far as to distribute a YouTube video laced with mild profanity and inappropriate language.  Sure enough, one of his staff (who was already angry because she hadn’t been promoted into the job) went straight to HR, and you can guess the result.  It usually goes without saying, but ALL emails and correspondence at work should be work related.  Period.
  3. Expecting it to feel like your old job during Week 2 – It just doesn’t work that way.  They term it the “honeymoon” period, those first 3-6 months, but the majority of senior candidates I speak with tell me it’s an awkward, clumsy and sometimes downright boring transition.  Superiors don’t know yet how much they can trust you with, or they don’t want to “overload” you right away.  Just take a deep breath, and realize that soon enough, you’ll be so busy you can’t see straight.   Enjoy the transition, learn as much as you can, and above all, BE PATIENT.

Starting a new job is an exciting and stressful time – it’s always on those lists of major life stressors.  Try to remember that fact as you’re transitioning, and use your friends, family, and your recruiter to help you – we can listen to you vent, or throw some ideas your way.  But remember, be patient during those first few months, don’t give up, and don’t do anything stupid!  Good luck!

Cindi Feig

Senior Account Manager

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