Navigating Success: A Guide to Setting Yourself Up in a New Role – Part 1

Lisa Redstall

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Starting a new role is an exciting opportunity for growth and development—a time to acquire new skills, form fresh connections, and navigate uncharted paths. For some, it can also be a daunting experience, a journey where the known gives way to the unknown.

Having embarked on a new beginning myself recently, it was a time of excitement and nervousness. Being in my previous role for sometime, and in a role I enjoyed, it was a big move to step away from my comfort zone. Yes, I had done my due diligence, and received wonderful feedback about the organisation I was looking to join at the time.  And my conversations around the new opportunity ticked all my boxes and was in alignment with my values and what I sought going forward. However, there was still an inner voice going around in my head with a lot of WHAT IFS!

Towards the end of last year, I went Zip lining for the first time. Was I nervous, yes!  Did I want to bail when I was rigged up and standing at the edge of a cliff, yes!  However, in that defining moment I had to make a choice, let go of my fear and do it anyway, or bail and forever wonder what it would be like to sail across the treetops. To this day I am eternally grateful I selected the first option. Yes, I was scared, but I wouldn’t exchange the feelings of achievement or personal satisfaction that I felt afterwards for anything. Starting a new role can be similar, and all those feelings of doubt are a normal part of the process. You don’t know until you try is an oldie but a goodie. I’m pleased to say I’m now one month into my new role, and my onboarding experience at OnTalent has been so positive. Am I still out of my comfort zone – absolutely! But when we are out of our comfort zone, this is where the magic happens. We begin to evolve and grow in ways that we never thought possible.

Below are several strategies I adopted to facilitate a smooth transition:


Delve into some research magic! Before stepping into your new office or joining that first virtual meeting, take a moment to explore your new workplace. Get to know its mission and values, establish who’s who in the business and if possible, their roles. Soak in the vibes of its culture. And if available familiarise yourself with the company’s policies and procedures. While you may have dipped your toes in before accepting the role, now is the time to dive a bit deeper for that extra dose of clarity.

Weave Meaningful Connections

Achieving success in your new role is like weaving a tapestry of meaningful connections. Initiate this journey by arranging one-on-one meetings with your colleagues—explore the personal and professional sides of their stories. In your eco-system, actively engage in team meetings and social gatherings whenever possible. After all, effective communication and collaboration are needed ingredients in a thriving workplace!

Foster a Learning Mindset: Change is an Opportunity for Growth

Embark on your new role with a humble and eager-to-learn mindset. Actively listen during meetings, absorb valuable information, and ask questions when needed. Seek guidance from colleagues who can offer insights and share their wealth of experiences. The journey of learning increases your confidence and competence in navigating your new role.

The phrase “You don’t have to be great to start but you need to start to be great” attributed to Zig Ziglar, serves as a powerful reminder that every journey begins with that crucial first step.

Every expert was once a novice is an encouraging thought – hold on to that and keep going! Embracing the new with curiosity until the unknown becomes the known once again.

OnTalent offers a range of professional services, including onboarding coaching, to set yourself or others up for success. Reach out if you’d like to know more about this service or our other service offerings in Leadership, Capability and Careers, and see how we can partner with you.

Lisa has over 20 years’ experience in business ownership, business development, strategic leadership, career development and client engagement. As a Client Partner for the Careers, Leadership Strategy and Consulting (CLC) Team at OnTalent Lisa draws from her knowledge and hands on experience to play an active role in business development and strategy, as well as work closely with clients to identify needs, provide bespoke solutions, and nurture business, client relationships. You can reach out to Lisa at [email protected].

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