3 Ways to Crash and Burn with Your New Employer

Filed under Career, Lessons Learned | Posted by PMStudent

Imagine the disappointment. You start a new job in a position that is perfect for you. You will be able use all of your talents working for a company that you really admire. You are off to a strong start, you are certain that you are making an excellent impression. Then you find out that you are not doing as well as you had hoped. Actually you are not doing well at all. The only impression you are making is a bad one, your colleagues want nothing to do with you and your new boss regrets hiring you.

Too often I hear from people who have joined a new organization only to crash and burn. Many times a complete and total disregard for organizational culture has played a part in this unfortunate scenario. Here are the 3 steps they took to crash and burn:

  1. Assume that because you were hired, you have something much more special than the people already employed at your new place of business.
  2. Complain about the way they do things, call them outdated or wrong.
  3. Talk loudly and frequently about how the way you used to do it at company X and how it was so much better.

Congratulations you are now ready to crash and burn!

Organizational culture is like the personality of that company or organization. You have a personality, so does your organization. How many people are you willing to change your personality for? I bet the list is not very long.

Why would you expect an entire organization to change their way of being just because you have arrived on the scene? Why would you assume that your way must be the best way?
Does this mean that you cannot change organizational culture? Of course not! Consider trying this approach:

  1. Assume that you are joining a team who can teach you how to be successful at your new company.
  2. Take time to get to know the people and how they do things and why they do things.
  3. Try it their way.
  4. Be respectful about their way do not call them outdated or wrong.
  5. Build relationships and gain trust.
  6. Begin to make suggestions for improvements.

Once you understand your new culture and how changes can be successfully introduced you can write your own steps to success.

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2 thoughts on “3 Ways to Crash and Burn with Your New Employer

  1. Omar

    You hit the nail on the head with this post. These lines resonated with me the most…Complain about the way they do things, call them outdated or wrong. Talk loudly and frequently about how the way you used to do it at company X and how it was so much better.

    It is challenging to not comment on all the areas of improvement that are needed in a new organization. For the new employee the normalization has not yet set in, but there is still value in seeing the “problems” with how your organization does things. I agree that trust must first be built,prior to making comments on how to change things. In the meantime, until that trust is built the best thing to do is document all the areas of improvement so you can bring them up later and have much more impact!

    Omar Morales, PE

    Reply
  2. Pingback: New PM Articles for the Week of August 1 – 7 - The Practicing IT Project Manager

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