You got the job! Congratulations! After telling all of your loved ones the good news and, deservedly, feeling great about being the candidate that got the nod instead of all of the others interviewed, the day has arrived: your first day at your new company in your new role.
The main thing that you should concern yourself with when beginning a new role is establishing credibility. The dictionary defines credibility as “the quality of being trusted and believed in.” The folks that hired you want to know that they made the right choice. The people who are going to be working with you and for you also want to know that they made the right choice. Consider this as a great opportunity to set the stage of excelling in this new role.
Some of the synonyms of credibility are trustworthiness, integrity and reliability. People respect those “who are who they say they are” and “do what they say that they will do.” Immediately begin to establish a reputation as a person that is honest, has integrity, and can be depended upon to follow up his/her words with action. Be accountable for your decisions and own up to, and take the necessary steps to correct, your mistakes. Be a person that is known to have strong ethics.
Another key factor in the establishment of your credibility is competence. Competence is your having expertise in your field of endeavor and the ability to marshal that expertise and resources to successfully complete your assignments and/or projects. Teach people to trust you and know that you are going to achieve what you say you will do. Continue to take on projects that challenge you, but allow you to build on your competence and be seen by others as someone that can be counted on. Also continue to take courses, and stay abreast of the latest news and information in your field of expertise.
Work to build great relationships with others in your organization. Be known for being fair and someone that can be trusted to share information with. Seek out ways to help others in the company have success and grow. There is an old saying that “you can have whatever it is that you want if only you will help others to get what they want.” If the person is a subordinate, then look for ways to mentor them. If you are dealing with a superior, look for ways to help them meet the goals that they have set for the department for which they are responsible. If it is a colleague, look to see if there are ways that you or your teams can work together on a project.
Keep regular meetings with your superior(s). Whether weekly or monthly, look to have a sit-down with your boss to talk about firm/division goals, plans, and progress. Seek his/her input and also use this as an opportunity to show that you are on the ball and leading your team in a direction that is aligned with the success of the company. This will also afford you the time to discuss meeting and exceeding the objectives of your current position. Also, look to keep regular meetings with your team. Weekly or monthly meetings will allow you to keep a pulse on your team and demonstrate that you are an involved leader that cares about the people that work for him/her. You will be able to also make sure that projects and assignments stay on track.
To this point, we have talked about important factors in your being perceived as credible. Often missed is acknowledging that there is already competence and potential at the company when you arrive. Do not take that for granted. Keep your eyes and ears open for whom the gatekeepers of information, decision-makers and unspoken leaders are. Listen and ask questions before offering solutions. By doing so you will strike a balance between being a team leader and team player.
Your credibility has many components, and how they interplay in the way you conduct yourself will ultimately determine how yours is perceived. Be encouraged, you got this!