Top Tips to Help You Settle into Your New Charity Role
Getting a new job is such an amazing feeling! But once you take your first step, it’s time to settle in. Finding your feet in your new charity role can be pretty challenging, especially working remotely. You’re having to process a new environment, new culture, new people and new set of tasks to learn. So how can you really make the most effective transition to being comfortable, while producing quality work from day one?
Don’t fret, we are here to help you settle in easily. Here are some useful tips to make your first few months a walk in the park.
Make a great first impression
First impressions count and it’s often hard to change someone’s mind after it’s made. Did you know that the ‘first impression’ is made in a seven-second window? That means that you need to be ready to impress from the very beginning.
So, dress the part. Make sure, on your first day, you’re dressed formally to make you feel more comfortable (and you can dodge the fear of being underdressed). A good way to judge the dress code before you start is to reflect on what your interviewers were wearing, or have a look at the organisation’s website to see what other employees tend to wear. Additionally, to make a great first impression try to get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to your team. This is the first step to developing strong and lasting relationships with your colleagues, to help you understand certain things about your new role or the organisation from day one.
Starting a job in fully remote mode?
The ‘first impression’ part still applies, with less focus on the dress-code (at least the bottom half). Make sure you take the time to get to know each team member over video call, that you have your camera switched on if you can – and that you schedule time for informal conversation as well as getting onboarded into your role.
Get to grips with your new charity role
Although it might take some time for you to get your feet under the table, it’s important to ensure that you’re reaching your employer’s expectation of you. Your job description is a basic indication of your responsibilities, but there’s always scope for a role to expand along the way, so have some flexibility to go above and beyond.
A good place to start is by prioritising your tasks and asking your manager about realistic timescales for each of these. It’s also useful to get a broader understanding of how your work fits into your team’s overall goals. Make sure you find out about the structure, processes and individual responsibilities of your new colleagues, and identify who you need to make good relationships with both internally and externally.
Eager to progress within your role? Creating a development plan from the outset is a great idea. If your manager hasn’t provided you with a one, be proactive and suggest one yourself. It will set you up with clear goals and objectives. It can also provide you with the confidence you need to keep developing your skills.
Be patient and don’t rush or create goals that are too far out of reach. Take the time to become an expert in your field first. This will allow you to absorb enough information to start performing your job well.
Be proactive and shine
Although you’ll have more grace from your team in the first few weeks as the newbie who’s just learning the ropes, now’s not the time to sit back and get comfy. You’ll want to work hard and make a strong first impression to show how you were the perfect choice for the job.
If you have extra time within your working day, why not be proactive and ask colleagues whether you can support them with a given project or shadow them while they’re working on it. That way, you’ll both demonstrate your eagerness and get a better understanding of how the organisation operates.
Always, always ask questions! There is no such thing as a silly question as it shows your curiosity and interest in your new organisation. Make sure that you ask for the input of others and ask for assistance if you’re ever uncertain. Their tips will give you the clarity that you need to understand and perform to the best of your ability.
Understand the culture
Getting to know your new employer’s culture will help you adapt to your new charity role faster. Ensure you use your first few weeks to really pay attention to what is happening around you. Doing so will help you understand the organisation’s values and how it interacts with clients, employees and the community. In most companies, the organisational culture can be traced back to its origin. Read up on its history, mission statements, and future projects before starting on your first day, so you have a sense of the direction the organisation is heading in.
Are you passionate about innovation? Have some new ideas that you would like to share? Now’s the time to learn about key decision-makers at your charity and the processes that you need to go through to make suggestions.
Create a routine
The first few days in your new charity role will be packed with tasks, processes and responsibilities being handed over to you. Finding your feet will take time, but actively building and managing a routine for your work will definitely help. A routine will help you feel more comfortable in your role, to manage your tasks while giving you a clear sense of direction. It can help to keep the day-to-day work ticking over, so you feel empowered instead of overwhelmed by the scale of your position and the tasks at hand.
Don’t sweat about starting your new job! Just take these tips into account and you will have an amazing first few months with the knowledge, preparation and mindset to thrive.