Here comes number 2 of our series of postings that will examine what happens in the head, heart and soul of a candidate during the first three months in the new job.
Victor (bio see below) who has told us 4 weeks ago how he did in the first month will answer to 5 questions after 4, 8 and 12 weeks which will allow us to compare what has changed on the way.
Our journey through the integration period continues with Victor’s report on the second month in the new job:
Question 1: “You started your new job 8 weeks ago. In which mindset did you start this second month and how has it changed since the beginning? What is your feedback today and which emotional evolution did you undergo since you wrote the last posting?” Victor: This is how I feel these days for many of the things I do: Gone are the days where I could take the time, at least 30 minutes every day, to step back and reflect on most things as I sort of did in my first month in the job. Time is now very scarce as I switch from meetings to meetings and at the same tome securing a new house, schools for the kids and also dealing with the house moving altogether. I sometimes go to the office in the morning thinking “is this all worth it?” Of course it is: great job, the excitement of a new country with the adventure that goes with it… the typical ups and downs of the post honeymoon period I guess. I find myself as a fireman trying to run a marathon with a big helmet (it’s warm in there) and a heavy water lance, trying to extinguish fires here and there on the way: the last fire was 2 good people in my team resigning for salary reasons that I eventually managed to retain. The one before? Facing 100 sales people in a room to tell them – through simultaneous translation – about changes that could negatively affect their compensation…
Question 2: “What were the top 3 things you did you do to ensure a smooth integration?” Victor: 1. I started building bonds with allies, not my greatest strengths I have to say. How? by taking my role seriously but myself much less so. Also by socialising, as much as I could. This involved dinners or drinks after work and the usual go-karting evening… 2. I adopted the ‘I know that I don’t know but I know that I should know’ type of attitude. Playing on the ‘I am new therefore I don’t know’ does work for sometime but one should not abuse this posture too much. 3. I pressed hard on my learning of the local language that allowed me to start showing signs of ‘localisation’
Question 3: How did your manager facilitate your integration and what did he miss out? Victor: He has been great so far. He took time with me, started challenging me in a positive way but showing trust at the same time. He is progressively switching into a mode that leaves little room for the excuse of being new. As if I had been here forever… which steepens the learning curve for me but in the end will accelerate my integration. My manager facilitated my integration also by: imposing all meetings with top management to be in English making it super comfortable for me, allowing me to commute in the way that best suited me whilst my family was still not here with me at destination, giving me very early feedback – and taking me for dinner!
Question 4: “What is your biggest achievement so far and what is the biggest regret or frustration?” Victor: I confidently presented to my Group CEO a couple of days ago pieces of our strategy and had very positive feedback. This visit was key. More personal though: I totally restructured my current team (size, roles, people moves, etc) and had the target model of what the organization should look like tomorrow approved by my boss
Closing: Thanks, Victor, for sharing your experience on the second month in the new job. We will have you back in four weeks to close the report on the three first months in the new job. Fingers crossed and looking forward! Victor: “Thanks, not everyone was here was waiting for me as a gift on a golden plate…”
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.