I just signed the offer letter for my first step up into management in my company. It's a big change, a big (3000mi) move, and really exciting.

Bottom line: I have no idea how to start the first day with an established team that will be new to me.

The first 90 days podcast series was immensely helpful, and I'm sure without it that I'd have blown my entire first year in the position. The first meeting new directs series was good, but it was a lot more focused on the idea of someone new joining my team, not me taking over a new team.

The workgroup is 15 people, various seniority levels all the way from four months down to over thirty years. I'm at about four years myself. They recently compressed two locations into the one I'll be working at, which means you've got two 'cliques' of people with different histories, likely different levels of policy observance, different openness to management based on previous bosses, who need to work together.

My natural instinct is to prepare a thirty minute long speech (or better yet, a printed handout!) that goes over all sorts of junk that nobody's going to care about but will make me feel like I delivered the right information. My brain knows that that instinct is a terrible one (THANKS MANAGER TOOLS!). I'm sure a lot of it is just nerves as well. I absolutely love my company (despite their many flaws), and especially with the distance of the move and how well the company treated me through the interview process and is treating me with the relocation assistance, I feel a strong urge to succeed.

Any thoughts?

Smacquarrie's picture

I went through a similar transition at this time last year (I only move 1200 miles though). My biggest take away from that was to spend the time getting to know your team and the types of work they do. This will help you to identify how you can help them and where you need to start spending your time. Keep in mind everything you have learned from the MT casts and team. Post your questions here in the forum - we will all help in any way that we can. 

Be mindful of how you portray yourself and how other percieve you. You impressed them enough to get the job - now show them that you know how to do it. 


SuzanneB's picture

Spend your first day with people.  Do NOT hole yourself up in your new office/cubicle.  Talk to people.  make a plan for lunch with peers for the first week. Spend a little time with each person on your team (casually).  Shake a lot of hands. Answer the same questions over and over with a smile ("yes, the move was tough but I'm so glad to be here" "i can't believe how different the weather/scenary/traffic patterns are here from where I moved from"). 

Here are some things you can do 

  • meet with your manager. Spend 30 minutes with them to get the general feel of the team.
  • quick team introductions
  • lunch with manager and/or team
  • 30 minutes on getting your computer set up
  • tour the new building (ask someone with a lot of experience to be your tour guide)
  • ask your team if they have time for a brief (30-45 min) meeting the next day to do some more formal introductions. then schedule the meeting using whatever format your company uses (probably outlook calendar

If you want to spend time on getting your office/computer set up come in extra early or stay late. Spend the valuable middle part of the day with your team. 

beccagets's picture

Thanks to both of you. Very useful thoughts! Still very nervous, but a little less so. I'm expecting a bit of that will go away once the mess of planning and executing a move in less than a month is finished.

mrreliable's picture

A suggestion. A printed document is fine, but there is no better way to distract a person from what you're saying than putting a document in front of them. Their eyes immediately drop to the document and they start reading, and your voice instantly becomes background noise. I'll speak from the document, then provide copies when I'm done.