Your start at a new company is somewhat similar to checking-in at the airport. The process sucks, and it’s better if we check-in ourselves. And since most companies have a terrible onboarding process, let me clue you in on how to do it yourself, and how to even take advantage of it.
With every inefficiency, opportunities arise. If your new company doesn’t have a clear and well thought out on-boarding process, you have to take charge of the process. But it’s not necessarily a burden. It’s an opportunity to show your higher-ups that you're proactive and self-directed. So, how to do it?
First you have to realise that in today’s climate, you can’t just sit around for weeks, passively absorbing information, and slowly getting up to speed. You got hired because the company is in dire need for more workforce, and even if you just want to be polite at first, this market needs people who are confident and ready to speak their minds. Companies thrive when all hands are on deck, so don’t shy away and don’t try to be polite. From the get-go, be a confident part of your team, and leverage the one thing you really have going for you: your fresh perspective.
Secondly, you need to get clear expectations from your manager. Make sure you understand what is expected of you in your role. Managing the communication with your boss is paradoxically your role, not theirs. Pay attention to their priorities and try to get a sense of what’s important to them and where their focus lies. Then, you can anticipate their needs, and set an agenda for yourself in a way you know you can best deliver.
Lastly, when you start at a new company, immediately start developing your own point of view. Don’t shy away from agreeing or disagreeing with decisions, and share your insights with your peers. High-performing companies understand that they need to give you some autonomy and authority, so meet them in the middle. If you're setting a meeting, make sure it's productive. Come prepared with an agenda and focus on what you want to achieve. By being efficient and effective, you'll quickly earn your place in the team too.
The point is; as the new hire, it’s your responsibility to seek out information and resources. In a high performing environment, your team might not be aware of what you need or they might not have the bandwidth to help onboard you. But if you take charge of your own on-boarding process, you can (and should) still be successful in your role without their help.