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How to prepare for a new job.

Updated: Apr 21

You did it! After all the interviews, you got a job offer. The excitement of the opportunity is starting to wear off, and reality is beginning to set in. You are starting a new job you have never done before, and despite all of your knowledge and experience, self-doubt, anxiety, and a little bit of fear are setting in. Forbes recently reported that 87% of people experience anxiety when starting a new job. That statistic lets you know that what you are feeling is normal. One of the best solutions for anxiety is focusing on what you can control. Developing a plan for transitioning into your new role is a step you can take today to blaze a path toward excelling in your new role.

Use the SET Approach to make a great impression

Starting a new job, study, engage and tell

I encourage clients to use the SET approach when starting a new job. It promotes slowing down and developing a plan for success in the new role. To excel, you need to understand your organizational culture, how decisions are made, how resources are allocated, and how success is defined. To gain this insight, I recommend these three actions

  1. Study your work environment

  2. Engage with stakeholders

  3. Tell your story

Study your work environment

When you start in a new role, your biggest challenge is your lack of knowledge. You are in a new environment; getting your barrings can take some time. To address this challenge, you must study your current situation and understand what it will take to be successful. The few pieces of information you must understand are the: ·

study your environment

There is much to learn, and the faster you can assess your new environment, the sooner you can develop your strategy for being successful. During the first 30 days, be intentional about prioritizing information gathering.

Walter Burk Barbe, Ph.D. from Northwestern University, theorized that we learn in three primary ways. We learn through

As you seek to learn about your environment, leverage these learning approaches.

Engage with Stakeholders

         Being effective in any role requires serving others. Serving others tends to help you form trusting relationships, which Patrick Lencioni states is the foundation for teamwork and leadership. To serve others, you must first understand their needs. This is best done by talking directly with stakeholders, listening to them, and determining how you can help remove obstacles and satisfy needs.

Organizations have various stakeholders. Understanding each stakeholder's needs and pain points will help you understand the organization holistically. A few stakeholders you should engage with are

engage with stakeholders

Taking the time to have group and one-on-one discussions with these stakeholders will help you understand the needs and desires of those you serve.

Tell Your Story

         As you engage with stakeholders, be prepared to tell people who you are, why you joined the organization, and what you want to gain from being part of it. People's interest in your origin story will vary. Some will not care, others want just the highlights, and a few will want to get to know you personally.

Be prepared to meet people where they are. Develop a 30-second introduction on who you are and what you do. In addition, be prepared to tell some stories based on your previous job, your early days with the company, and your interests outside of work.

tell your story

Conversations should have a good back-and-forth. As a rule of thumb, speak in 2-minute or less chunks when telling people your story. Make statements, then pause to allow the listener to ask follow-up questions, provide their point of view, or pivot to other topics. Mastering get-to-know-you conversations is a great skill to master. It will help you learn about others, your new company, and your new role.


A new job can be exciting and stressful. To get off to a successful start, you must be intentional in how you spend your time. Your top priorities are building relationships and learning about the role. This can be best done by following the SET approach. You have one chance to make a first impression. Take the time to identify what you need to study, who you need to engage with, and what you need to tell others about yourself.


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If you want to learn more about my coaching services, Please reach out.

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