Even the most experienced professionals can find their first weeks and months in a new job challenging, and nowhere is this more evident than in the sports industry. Whether you’re trying to fill the shoes of well-loved predecessor or have been brought in to instigate business transformations that may not sit comfortably with all your new colleagues, it is vitally important that you take the necessary steps to quickly understand your new environment and build relationships that add value to your workplace experience.
Here at GlobalSportsJobs we speak with successful candidates on a daily basis, getting unique insights into the challenges of taking on a new role. Here are our top five tips on how to make an early impact in your new role:
- Be prepared: Before you start your new sports industry job, take a good look again at the job description and any notes that you made during your interviews. If you can pull together some initial ideas for your role before you start, this will give your new colleagues confidence in your ability. For more senior positions, it is worthwhile putting feelers out to your social and business networks, speaking with them about your new position, particularly if you are required to build a team or notch up sales in your first weeks.
- Listen: You will most likely be introduced to your new colleagues and stakeholders around the business when you first start. It’s important to invest some time into gaining an understanding of the challenges they face and projects they are hoping to work with you on, so make sure you set aside times to meet with them, even if this is only for a quick coffee. No one expects you to have everyone's name memorised by the end of the first day or week, but if you are bad with names, it is worth researching some quick memory tricks online to help you.
- Manage expectations: Do not over-promise and under-deliver. On accepting the job offer, you make an implied promise that you are capable of delivering against the requirements of the job. Telling your boss you’re making great progress when you aren’t or committing to a deadline you know you can’t meet will get you off on the wrong foot. Running your early work by superiors can be a good way to see if you are on track, and just as importantly will give you an early indication of their management style and feedback/sign-off processes.
- Be enthusiastic: Passion is a trait that runs through all organisations operating in the sports industry and a passion for sport may well be the reason you embarked on a career in the industry. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your positive attitude, be it through participation in staff events, corporate charity activity or simply lending a hand to your co-workers if they are in need. This will help you demonstrate that you are a team player and will most likely be reciprocated multiple-times during your time in the role.
- Go the extra mile: Finally, your new colleagues will appreciate that you won’t necessarily know all the ins and outs of your new role from day one, however if you show a willingness-to-learn, determination and strong work ethic, they will know you’re trying, which is the first step to earning their respect. If you lead a busy social life, try not to pre-arrange too much for the evenings of your first week and ensure you’re not the first to leave the office each day.