Beginning a new job is never an easy task. In the sports world especially, you’re expected to hit the ground not just running, but sprinting.
After recently beginning my latest full-time gig within the sports world myself, I’ve made it a point to do everything that I can to start things off on the right foot with my new coworkers in my new role. With our industry having such a high turnover rate, you have to get things going in the right direction immediately if you want to make a positive impact.
In order to bring some insight to those of you who are also moving into a new job, or even beginning your first big job out of school, I asked professionals from around the sports world for their input. Here’s what they recommended doing in your first week at a new job.
1. Take stock of what you’ve got
One of the first things that you should be figuring out is exactly what you have to work with in terms of resources. Sort through the leftover files of the person or persons who held that job before you. Brian Ogden, who serves as the assistant coordinator of communications for Mississippi State University Athletics, adopted this approach when he took on his new role.
“I went through the files of the previous SID before me to see what sort of images and content I had and to learn more about my new roster.”
Also, take this approach to learning where the organization has come from. If you take on a role focused on driving web traffic, for example, collect web stats from the previous few years. That way, you know what you are shooting for.
“Collect data,” says Katie Gwinn Hewitt, assistant director of athletic communications at the University of Michigan. “So much about proving one’s worth starts with where the organization was when you got there and how far it’s come since you joined.”
2. Be a sponge
Learn everything that you can about your new home. Every. Single. Thing.
Penn State’s assistant director of social media Kristina Naumann suggests to, “comb through every resource you didn’t have when you weren’t yet hired, and become an expert on your company, your role, your team, etc.”
Try to talk to as many people as possible and learn anything useful about your position that you can. This can even extend to people that do not work for your specific organization.
“Before you even start your job, you should set up meetings/calls/interviews with people in the same position,” states Neumann University sports business professor Caleb Mezzy. “Ask them one question: What would they do if they could do their first day over again knowing what they know now?”
All in all, your goal should be to meld the way that the organization operates with how you operate as a person. Try to fall into the routines that make your company/department function like the well-oiled machine it (hopefully) is.
“When you start a new job it’s a chance to start new habits,” Joe Centeno of Team Infographics points out. If you have a hard time staying organized, make an effort to keep files, your office and workspace organized. If you are constantly running late, make an effort to show up a few minutes early right from the start. You can use a new setting to help establish new routines and start off on the right foot.”
3. Make friends
It may go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. If people don’t like you, it’s going to make your life a lot harder, especially in the sports world. This extends to as many people as possible within your organization, from your boss to the other people in your cubicle, to the people keeping the building running.
As Victor Cruz, Chief Relationship Officer at the Institute for Athlete Branding and Marketing puts it, “Make connections with all the people in service jobs. Office handyman, stadium security, ballpark staff, mailroom people, etc. They make the world go round and will be great resources when needed. Trust me!”
Above all, listen. That was the most common answer that I received when I posed this question. If you’re able to display empathy and make it a point that you are willing to learn, your new coworkers will have a much better first impression of you.
What’s something that you wish you had done in your first week on the job? What’s something you did do that made the transition a lot easier for you? Let us know on Twitter @frntofficesport.