Whether you are starting a new job, moving from one division to another, or a consultant, working with a new team can be challenging, if not a little frightening. As a contractor and consultant, I regularly have entered new organizations and teams.
Here are my top 3 tips to help you hit the ground running and make a great first impression as you join a new team.
Before your first day, make sure you have a good understanding of the team's mission, goals, and current projects. This will help you get up to speed more quickly and give you a better idea of how you can contribute.
At some point you'll need to introduce yourself. Seems easy enough right? It is, but it can be tricky at the same time. Make sure to cover basic information about your background but focus and highlight how your experience, education, and certifications, etc. can specifically help the team. Avoid listing every single skill or qualification you have. The truth is, people tune out and want to know how you can help the team. A successful introduction is a great way to make connections and start building relationships with your new team members.
With the introduction out of the way, get to know your team. Take the time to get to know your new colleagues. Listen and learn how the team collaborates and works together. Check who is responsible for what and most importantly, observe and do not criticize processes. At this point you don’t know why certain things are done a particular way. Find out what the reason is before criticizing. There may be budgetary constraints or other hurdles the team is dealing with for doing things the way they are. Again, observe and learn the established processes in place and how the team is working.
It's natural to have questions when you're starting a new job or joining a new team. Never be afraid to ask for clarification or more information when you need it.
The questions you ask should be based on what you've observed and learned from the innerworkings of the team. You always want to make sure you're asking the right questions.
An example of this is ask about the team’s goals and priorities so you can align your work with them. Ask about the team’s current projects and what their main objectives are. This will give you a better understanding of what is expected of you and how you can contribute to the team’s success.
Asking questions is critical to successfully joining a team and shows you're eager to learn and contribute.
Deliver On Your Promises
Always make sure you can fulfill any commitments you make. Give yourself enough time to complete the tasks without rushing through them. In the end, the caliber of your work is more likely to have an impact than how quickly you complete it. If you require aid or direction, ask for it. Most of the time, your coworkers will be pleased to assist you, and working directly with them can improve your connections.
Showing your new team you can complete work in a timely fashion and deliver on time builds trust within the team and benefits all team members.
By following these tips, you're well on your way to becoming an integral part of your new team. Good luck and I wish you all the best!