How to make an impact and add value on day one in your new role at a tech start-up
When you enter a new role you want to make an impact. And when you hire for a new role, you want them to make an impact. The bigger and quicker the impact is made, the better.
9% of the workforce change jobs each year, on average. That is a large number of people who want to make an impact.
So what tactics can you use to ensure you put your best foot forward to make an impact in your new role?
Fresh Pair of Eyes
Most new hires will be moving from another workplace, oftentimes in a similar industry. This brings about a natural benefit, and a large opportunity to make an impact, through bringing concepts from your old workplace to your new workplace.
Oftentimes the existing team will be too embedded in the current processes, systems, and way of working to notice that something may not be working as efficiently as it could. They may even be missing an obvious initiative that would transform the fortunes of the company.
Even if you are newer to the workforce, or changing careers, and therefore don't have that relevant experience, you can still bring fresh eyes to proceedings. By asking why the venture is currently doing something, you'll not only add to your own knowledge, but will get the existing team to re-affirm their logic which underlies why they are doing said activity.
By bringing your fresh pair of eyes to the new team and constantly asking 'why' you'll be adding value from day one.
Always ask 'Am I adding value?'
For me, this is the secret ingredient to success in a role. After you clock off for the day, ask yourself what value did you add to the organisation that day?
When you boil the employment relationship down to its core, you get paid by the company in return for adding value. If you aren't adding value then you don't deserve the remuneration. Simple.
If we take this concept one step further, if you want more remuneration, you need to add more value. Even if you are not financially motivated, this concept of adding value also adds to your personal reputation, which will help you do a higher level of work, secure another role, and other non-financial benefits.
A common example of people not adding value in the modern day office can be witnessed in meetings. From time to time there are people who sit in meetings and don't add anything. Sometimes they don't even say anything. In the majority of cases, these people aren't adding any value. The exception would be if it's the most efficient way for the person to download a lot of information and then go and do valuable work.
Another example of poor value-add in meetings is if you don't do the pre-meeting prep work or actions from the last meeting. You then don't add any value from the meeting and even detract value as you waste time at the start asking to be brought up to speed, having not done the pre-meeting prep.
If you're not sure how much value you're adding to your organisation, then ask. During your next one-to-one meeting, ask what else you can do to add value or make your manager's job easier.
A key part of adding value is to sniff out new opportunities for the company, irrespective of whether they are strictly within your job remit.
In order to get started with this, here are a few questions that you can ask yourself, to add more value:
Is there anyone in your network that may be interested in the solution your new company is selling?
Are there any untapped revenue streams that you can suggest?
Do you know anyone who may be a good fit for any roles at the company? Regardless of whether they are open or not.
By constantly keeping your head on a swivel and looking out for opportunities, you'll come across some ideas that you can suggest to your manager, demonstrating at the very least a desire to add more value, and potentially adding value.
It's a good idea to keep a record of the initiatives you have thought of and what specific impact your implemented suggestions have on the business. This quantifiable information will help prove your impact on the company and ensure you are focussed on the activities that will really move the needle.
Starting a new job is never easy. Emotions from leaving your past role and nerves about meeting the new team are just the tip of the iceberg. Despite this backdrop, by maintaining focus and adding value every day, you will not only have a greater chance of thriving in the role and progressing, but you will have a happier manager as a result.