Part of being successful in the PR industry is building and maintaining quality and solid industry relationships, and this starts with demonstrating your value and building rapport among your coworkers. Because it’s normal for practitioners to move from agency to agency, particularly in niche verticals like fashion, beauty and lifestyle, being able to quickly immerse yourself into a new agency or brand culture is crucial; and there is no time quite like the first 3 months or so of a new position to set you up for success among your your boss and your peers.
Here are the top five things to keep in mind during your first few months at a new position.
1. Get to Know Your Team
Being able to integrate with the existing team in the first few weeks reinforces to your employer that you’re compatible with the other employees. Taking the time to really get to know your coworkers will establish a strong foundation and sense of teamwork immediately, which will improve communication and collaboration down the line. Make it a point to build one-on-one rapport with everyone in the office; get to know their work or management style, key responsibilities, previous work experience, and hobbies. Your co-workers will be more open to sharing the inside scoop, tips, and tricks on succeeding at the job if they feel a connection with you, and you’ll feel at home at your new desk more quickly.
If you are coming in as a manager, it’s especially important to take the time to get to know the lay of the land, current attitudes, and expectations of your team.
2. Ask for feedback
The first 90 days are a magical window where you are adjusting, learning and able to make (at least a few) mistakes. While you are learning the ropes, make it a point to ask questions and seeking out feedback. If your work has corrections made to it, see this as an opportunity to further hone your skills and ask for specific guidance so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Asking for feedback also shows that you are invested in the business and in becoming the best employee possible.
3. Take Initiative
As a brand new employee, you have a fresh perspective on everything, which is highly valuable. If you see an opportunity to improve a process, bring in a new client or recommend a better tool or service, say something. Similarly, channel your enthusiasm for your new job into exceeding expectations; go above and beyond what you’ve been told to do. This doesn’t mean saying yes to every project or taking on extra work, but it does mean doing everything you can to ensure your tasks are completed at the highest quality possible. Taking initiative can be anything from updating a media list, writing pitches for the pipeline, or creating shot lists for images you may need down the line. Being ahead of the game, while continuing to kill it on the work you’re being given, is a great way to integrate yourself quickly into a new company, and position yourself for a promotion down the line.
4. Identify and Offer up Your Niche Skill
In the first week, you should figure out what everyone on your team is good at and what skills are needed to fill the void. If you have experience in this area, offer up yourself as a resource. If not, put together a professional development plan in your off time and fill that gap with new knowledge. By becoming the go-to for a particular perspective or technical capability, you help differentiate yourself and define a clear value within the company structure.
5. Help to Drive Revenue
If you really want to make a positive impression in your first few months in a new position, figure out how to make your company more profitable. For PR agency professionals, this is often by bringing in new clients leads to the office. When new clients sign that retainer, you’ve added a clear, financial benefit to your presence. The best way to find new clients is to research businesses whose brands are similar to other types of businesses your firm represents and use your network and communication skills to put your agency on their radar.
If you are able to accomplish these 5 tasks within the first 90 days of your new position, you’ll be an invaluable asset to the company and will find yourself quickly rising through the ranks.