Joining a new firm is an exciting prospect. However, the pressure to prove your worth can be incredibly overwhelming. So, to help you put your best foot forward, we’re sharing our advice on how to succeed quickly in your new role!
From exiting your current firm to establishing boundaries at your new one, we will walk you through each step of the process to ensure you make a positive and lasting impression on your new partner (without working every waking moment).
1. Don’t disengage during your notice period
Before we discuss how to succeed quickly in your new role, we must emphasise the importance of leaving your current company on a positive note. Why? Because the final months at your firm can make or break your reputation. (Trust us, the worlds of law, finance and consultancy are much smaller than you think!) So do NOT disengage during your notice period!
Although you may be excited to start your new job, your performance during these final months is imperative to creating a positive and lasting impression. So don’t start slacking once you’ve signed your new contract! Instead, be as proactive as possible. Whilst you may be asked to limit your client contact (understandably so), there is still plenty you can do to impress your soon-to-be former employer.
So don’t start burning your bridges! Instead, continue nurturing your relationships at your current firm.
2. Be realistic
We understand that you want to know how to succeed quickly in your new role. But impressing your new partners doesn’t happen overnight. So, instead of setting yourself up for failure, start setting yourself realistic expectations!
The most effective way to do this is to arrange a meeting with your manager or partners. Here you will learn exactly what your employer expects from you during the first 3 months of your employment. (From there, you can also discuss what targets they would like you to meet within your first 6-12 months.)
The truth is, you’re expectations for yourself are probably far higher than your new partners. And that’s not because they underestimate your abilities. It’s because they understand that transitioning into a new role takes time!
So give yourself some grace! Because you probably won’t win any new business within your first few weeks – and that’s okay!
3. Connect with your new colleagues
Many people believe their new role starts on their first day at their new firm. However, if you want to learn how to succeed quickly in your new role, you might want to reconsider this.
In our eyes, your new role begins the second you sign your new contract. So take advantage of this transitional period and start connecting with your new colleagues.
Meeting your team, partners and key stakeholders before your first day will save you a lot of time on introductions. So you can hit the ground running as soon as you enter the office.
You can also use these early introductions to discuss working styles, seek out training opportunities and explain why you chose to change roles. Overall, these conversations will ensure your first day at your new firm is far less daunting and far more productive!
4. Establish a new schedule
One of the major benefits of joining a new firm is being able to reset your routine. But what does that have to do with learning how to succeed quickly in your new role?
Creating a routine that accommodates your needs is a surefire way to ensure you’re working as efficiently and effectively as possible. So, instead of working to the beat of someone else’s drum, you can adjust your workload to optimise your performance.
Here are some key factors to consider when establishing your new schedule:
- What time will you start and finish work?
- Will you keep the same office hours when in and outside of the office?
- How many breaks will you have during the day (and for how long)?
- When will you schedule time for client meetings, internal meetings, and focused work?
- (If applicable) how will you utilise the flexibility of your new role?
- Which days are best for you (and your employer) to be in the office?
- What would encourage you to come into the office if you were scheduled to work remotely?
Want to actively advance your career? Download our Career Action Plan Template (for free) to get started with progressing your career to partner.
5. Start as you mean to go on
It’s no secret that those who work in law, finance and consultancy struggle to create a healthy work-life balance. However, (what many people fail to mention is that) this struggle doesn’t end as soon as you move to a more flexible firm.
You see, we all want to go above and beyond to impress our new partners – especially in those first few months. So we take on additional responsibilities, work extra hours and answer emails at all hours of the day. But the trouble is, this creates an unrealistic expectation for our employer. (Not to mention, it completely defeats the point of moving to a flexible firm in the first place!)
So, if you (actually) want to achieve a healthy work-life balance, you need to start setting boundaries as soon as you begin your new job. Otherwise, you’re going to continue perpetuating unhealthy, unsustainable working habits.
Although it may seem scary, establishing healthy boundaries can actually improve your performance and productivity! So stop stretching yourself so thin. You don’t need to take on additional roles and responsibilities to be worthy of your title or respected by your team.
- When to say No (or yes) to extra responsibilities at work
- How to say no to a work project from a partner
- How to say no gracefully without fear of making a career limiting move
- The definitive email template for saying no to a client
6. Nurture your internal network
One of the most frustrating parts of starting at a new firm is having to (patiently) wait to be allocated client projects. So, what should you do in the meantime?
Although you may want to become fully chargeable as soon as possible, we recommend focusing your attention on building an internal network instead. Why? Because until your restrictive covenants come to an end, your new firm’s internal marketplace is going to be your most valuable source of new business. So don’t overlook the importance of nurturing your internal network!
Success is all about strategy
Whilst there are no shortcuts to success, there are several steps you can take to help you transition into your new role. So remember; always maintain your professionalism (even when exiting a job), network with your new colleagues as soon as you’ve signed your contract and use this fresh start to establish a healthy work-life balance!
The truth is, you’ve already proven your worth by winning your new role. So don’t sweat it! As long as you are positive, proactive and productive, you will have demonstrated to your colleagues (and yourself) that you know how to succeed quickly in your new role.
Need more help with moving your career forward?
To see the whole recording and complete the “how to truly commit to moving your career forward” self-study course, and my 30 other career-enhancing videos, join Progress to Partner for just $1 for a 7-day trial. You’ll also get access to my self-study courses, including The Go-To Expert, Creating A Cast-Iron Business Case for Partner, How To Be On Your A-Game Every Day and over 15 years of training and resources supporting people’s career progression in practice bundled into a single location.