4 things to never do when on-boarding with a new team

You’ve accepted the offer and are excited to figure out what your new job is really going to be like because let’s be honest – the job description and the actual work very rarely lineup how you imaged.
 
Navigating a new team can seem overwhelming and create so much imposter syndrome anxiety. I’ve rotated four times at Amazon and learned a lot along the way. Below are four things to never do when on-boarding with a new team.
 
1.     DON’T wait for your manager to create your launch plan. We all know the general things that are going to be on the plan so just start doing them, even before you officially rotate. Start scheduling 1:1’s with team members, join all the email lists, get added to key team meetings, write your bio, start identifying the projects you will be working on and prioritizing them.
 
Be the leader they hired you to be. It doesn’t matter if you are wrong. What matters is that you are taking massive action and already adding value by not wasting team member’s time to onboard you.
 
Think about it. If you were the manager, would you rather have an employee that takes their time, but does everything “right” and starts delivery results in a few months or would you rather they jump in, make a few mistakes and start delivering results in a few weeks?
 
2.     DON’T try to do all the things for all the people. A common mistake I’ve seen over and over is new people trying to impress and be a good team player but agreeing to do everything people ask for in the on-boarding 1:1’s. It’s fair to ask team members how you can help, but don’t become the free resource dumping ground.
 
Meet with all the people, get a list of all the requests, and then get hyper focused on what key projects you are going to prioritize and why. Stay focused on what work will impact the business and help the team reach their goals. There is always more work that can be done, but using restrain and staying focused on delivering results versus delivering work will make all the difference in the end.
 
3.     DON’T assume people know how awesome you are. You were probably the go to person on your last team for many topics, but no one on the new teams knows or cares.
 
It doesn’t matter if you stepped in and drove a key project to completion when no one else would. It doesn’t matter how many docs and PR/FAQ’s you’ve written. It doesn’t matter how you did this all without the support of a steady manager.
 
Your past work got you the job. Your current work is what will get them to know how awesome you are. So, stay focused on delivering results and adding value. You are not entitled to their respect.
 
4.     DON’T feel out the team environment before being you. This one is my pet peeve. I’ve heard so many people complain about the team politics, or low morale, or toxic environment. But the team culture is determined by the people on the team. DON’T LET THE EXISTING TEAM CULTURE DICTATE HOW YOU ACT. BE the type of person you want to work with. You are a team member now so do your part to create the culture you want.
 
You can’t control how other people on the team act, but you are in total control of how you act. I personally make it a point to genuinely show up as ME from day one. I’m kind of a spaz and like to have fun so I joke around with people starting on day one. I get to know them as humans and share who I am. I show my vulnerable side and don’t hide from my mistakes because this is the type of culture I want to create.
 
Don’t let the environment dictate how you act. Act exactly how you want the environment to be.  They hired YOU for a reason so show up as YOU from day one.
 
 
If you are trying to navigate your next rotation and are feeling overwhelmed about it, let’s jump on the phone and come up with a game plan for you. Sign up for a call here.