This month, we kick off a series of three postings that will examine what happens in the head, heart and soul of a candidate during the first three months in the new job. This pretty much compliments my posting “The 7 Phases Of The Job Life Cycle” on Forbes a while ago. Yet while that was theory, we talk about practice today and will have a close look at the mental roller coaster a candidate like you or me undergoes during his integration period.
How is this series structured?
Victor (see his mini bio here below) will answer today 5 questions. The exact same set of questions will be back in 4 and 8 weeks for the 60 and 90 day interview which will allow us to compare what has changed.
Here we go. I promise a thrilling journey with ups and downs through the integration period, starting with the first month in the new job:
Question 1: “You have started your new job 4 weeks ago. Which mindset did you arrive with and how has it changed since the beginning? What is your first feedback and which emotional evolution did you undergo?” Victor’s answer: “I arrived with a view that I would take the situation with a lot of rational, with a clear, almost scientific way to tackle issues and create a plan. Also figured I would have to quickly create trust with 2 of my direct reports, who would be key to my success.”
Question 2: “What were the top 3 things you did you do to ensure a smooth integration?” Victor’s answer: “Three things helped me: 1) I showed an open-minded attitude (I was brought in to bring experience from another country, but did not want to be looked at as the one giving lessons). 2) I showed empathy, which probably was the most difficult for me as I did not only integrate a new company but also changed country. Apart from decoding the language of the company, the language of the country is new too. This links directly to point 3) which is curiosity, eagerness to understand the Italian market, the way people work, successes and failures from the past but also personal stories and all things that influence the job and as a consequence my success here.”
Question 3: How did your manager facilitate your integration and what did he miss out? Victor’s answer: “My boss positioned me at the right level, i.e. in a way that people understand I don’t have everything to prove. In the end, I am his choice not theirs… But he also showed interest in my personal logistics and how well I was settling in regards of the apartment, schools, commutes, etc. What did he miss out? Not much, I think and he gets full marks to him in my view.”
Question 4: “What is your biggest achievement so far and what is the biggest regret or frustration?” Victor’s answer: “My biggest achievement came after 3 weeks: a partnership for close to a million Euro had been partially negotiated prior to my arrival. In 3 weeks I completed the negotiation and obtained a final further discount. Timing and luck was on my side, I seized it and transformed it into a personal success.”
Question 5: “What were your 3 top priorities for the first 30 days?” Victor’s answer: “My first priorities for the first 30 days were to 1) understand who does what, 2) what the priorities for the companies are (therefore including things I should not worry about) and 3) create a relationship, trust and credibility with my direct reports.”
Closing: Thanks, Victor. So we will have you back here in four weeks for “The First 60 Days In The New Job”, right? Victor: “Yes, the next job feedback will come shortly and I guarantee will be exciting!”
About the interviewee:
Victor is a Marketing and Sales executive in the Financial Services industry in France. In the past, he has worked as EMEA Marketing Manager for a US-based software vendor and prior to this as a Management Consultant with a Top 5 Audit and Consulting firm in London. He has worked in multiple geographies including the UK, the US and France. Victor holds an MBA from INSEAD.