Disclaimer: This guide is designed to offer both serious advice and a dash of well-placed sarcasm to help you stand out in your new role. Results may vary depending on your ability to wield charm and wit.
“New Kid on the Block”
Sure, you’ve got loads of experience, but you’re the new kid in town now. Start by donning your invisible “I’m Just Here to Observe” hat. Blend in like a chameleon, casually absorbing your surroundings and the culture.
The Danger of Overenthusiasm
There’s nothing worse than showing up on Day 1 with a megaphone, shouting, “I’m here to save the day!” Your new colleagues might appreciate your unyielding positivity. But it’s more likely they’ll feel like they’re about to start watching a reality show titled “When Newbie Goes Wild.”
Be a Smart Sponge
Absorb information like your brain is a high-tech vacuum cleaner. Attend every meeting, gathering, and casual chat. It’s like speed dating, but with colleagues, and your goal is to find your work ‘mentor’. This person has been around longer than the last Mission Statement. This is the person you can ask questions to help you navigate the typical vagaries facing a new person.
People love to talk about themselves. So, unleash your supernatural ability to listen actively. Nod, smile, and occasionally interject with a timely “Wow, that’s fascinating!” The less you actually say, the more brilliant you’ll appear.
Nothing screams “I’m one of you” like dropping jargon bombs left and right. Blend in seamlessly by liberally peppering your speech with phrases like “data driven decision making” and “student engagement and voice”. If you’re just joining the Education sector, don’t bring prior jargon such as “paradigm-shifting scalability,” and “proactive innovative disruptors.”
Cracking the Fashion Formula
From day one, choose your attire wisely. Think “business meets ‘I’m a leader.'” Throw in an outlandish accessory, like a diamond-encrusted Montblanc. Remember, you’re not just dressing for success; you’re dressing to be memorable.
The Art of Delegation (Or Passing the Hot Potato)
Master the delicate balance between delegating tasks and appearing like you’re just passing the buck. Use phrases like “empowering my team” to make it seem like you’re gifting professional development opportunities, not unloading unwanted tasks.
The Mystique of Unpredictability
Keep your team guessing by adopting an air of enigmatic unpredictability. Use a scheduler to respond to emails at 3 AM. Show up to Book Week in a Where’s Wally outfit. Sporadically replace standard greetings with interpretive dance. Leave them wondering, “What will she do next?”
The “Yes, I Can Bake” (Illusion?)
Sneakily insert into conversations that you’re a baker. Bring some samples in to share with the team, explaining that it is a “special family recipe from your grandfather.” The team will marvel at your culinary prowess while wondering if they’ve been duped. They’ll think you’re a superman with many different skills.
Crafting Perfect Email Signatures
Use your email signature to elevate your aura. Go beyond the standard “Best regards” or “Cheers”. Use a variety of sign-offs by trying something like “Conqueror of the School Playground” and “Minder of Staff Secrets”
The Appeal of Unreachable Achievements
Set ‘super goals’ that sound amazing on paper but are just elusive enough to give you breathing room. This way, you’ll dazzle your managers while remaining comfortably nestled in the realm of plausibility. This one goes hand-in-hand with the next one.
The “Oops, I Accidentally Excelled” Move
Occasionally “accidentally” exceed expectations. When praised, flash a sheepish grin and claim it was all due to your insatiable thirst for excellence. Humility + Ambition = A winning combo.
The Great Pretender
Exhibit unfaltering confidence, even if you have no idea what’s going on. When asked a question you’re not prepared for, respond with a radiant smile and say, “Ah, that’s an interesting topic. Let’s make sure we add it to the agenda for the next meeting.”
The Strategic Coffee Breaks
Timing is everything. Schedule your coffee breaks during moments of peak visibility. Saunter around the office with your fancy coffee cup while looking at the organisation’s strategic plan. Voilà – you’re the approachable yet mysterious person everyone wants to know.
The 90-day Closing
As your first 3 months comes to an end, throw out some cryptic remarks about “upcoming organisational changes” and “a new era dawning.” Leave your colleagues puzzled and intrigued, eagerly anticipating the sequel to your enigmatic performance.
Navigating your first 90 days in an executive role with grace, authenticity, and a touch of wit can set you on a path to success. Good luck, and may your journey be filled with memorable moments and genuine achievements!
Next week: Crafting your Resume
Also view last week: Resigning with Grace – click here