How to succeed in a newly created role

12 min read | Robby Vanuxem | Article | Career development Industry insights Upskilling

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Are you about to climb the corporate ladder and take on the challenges of a newly created position? Take a look at our expert advice for succeeding in a brand new role.

The world of work and the businesses operating within it are changing faster than ever before. This rapid change means that employers currently form new departments and new roles within those departments all the time. For candidates, it is becoming more and more likely that the next position could be one that has never before existed.


How to succeed in a newly created position at a glance

Succeeding in the interview process for a new role is a challenge of its own but what happens when you start working? It can be tempting to lay all your ideas and proposed changes on the table immediately. However, there are a few key things you should focus on first to ensure your long-term success in the role and to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.

Understanding why your employer created this new role in the first place and what their expectations are is important for your success. Make sure you also speak to your managers about how to measure your success in the role. Measuring success in one way or another will help keep you on the right track and ensure you can meet your employer’s expectations.

Additionally, work hard to build strong relationships with all stakeholders. Take a ‘watch and learn’ approach to help you adjust to the company culture. Trust that you have the ability to make the right decisions but avoid over-promising what you can deliver.

Keep reading to find out more detail on the seven things you should bear in mind when you start in a newly created position.

Contact your local consultant for helpful career advice and guidance from an expert.


How to succeed in a newly created role

A brand new role can be both exciting and a huge opportunity for you. After all, there is no predecessor to live up to or previous benchmarks to work towards. In a newly created position, you have the unique opportunity to take a role in the direction in which you think it needs to go and start with a clean slate.

There can also be some very real challenges that come with life in a newly created role, especially if the job responsibilities are not clearly defined.


Seven things you should do to ensure success in a brand new role

Yes, there is certain advice that many of us will have already heard a lot when it comes to starting a new job. Those tips still do apply when you begin a role that has never existed before.

Introduce yourself to all of your new colleagues, ask questions, seek early ‘allies’ within an unfamiliar workplace, and show your face at all of those crucial first meetings. Establish yourself as an indispensable ‘go-to’ person at the company. All of these things still count, but as you’re starting a completely new role, it makes sense that there are a number of extra details you should bear in mind.


1. Understand the bigger picture

Consider the circumstances and requirements that led to the creation of this role.

What did the job descriptions say? What is the employer’s history and track record? What are your skills, background or other characteristics that led to you being chosen? How will your role fit in with the wider strategic direction of the business in the months and years ahead?

By asking these questions and identifying the answers, you stand a better chance of success in the new role.


2. Understand what your boss wants you to achieve in your first three months

Central to this will be setting SMART objectives early on and having regular check-ins. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Much of a new role is likely to be undefined or only vaguely defined. So, it’s vital to have a framework of well-formulated objectives between you and your manager. Clear objectives will avoid sending you, your team, and the company in the wrong direction. Understanding the expectations of your boss from the outset will help you to better ensure success in the new role.


3. Understand how success in this new role will be measured, and how often.

There’s no one-size-fits-all way of measuring an employee’s success even in an established role, so a newly created one can bring even greater challenges. Much will also depend on your exact role.

For a sales employee, sales figures may seem a strong means of gauging their success. Whereas it’s a much more subjective task to assess how much a software developer’s work contributes to a company’s bottom line. By understanding how success will be measured in the new role, for instance if you are set specific targets, you stand an improved chance of helping to deliver it.


4. Work hard on developing strong relationships with all stakeholders

Take some time to understand how your new role fits in with the senior stakeholders and their priorities, and which senior members hold the most influence. It’s good to start developing these relationships as soon as possible. Strong stakeholder relationships will make it easier for you to gain buy-in for any new initiatives or projects you may want to roll out in the future. However, it’s just as crucial to dedicate time to your colleagues too.

Some of your new co-workers may be initially resistant to any changes that you introduce. Therefore, it’s important to do everything possible to bring them along for the ride. Engage with stakeholders at all levels and ensure they’re brought into what you’re doing. Through close collaboration you’ll quickly learn what they do and you’re far less likely to tread on any toes along the way.

It’s crucial to recognise that being in a newly created role doesn’t mean working by yourself. Nor should you merely leverage your colleagues’ resources and skills without making their own jobs easier through active collaboration and teamwork.


5. Don’t try to fix or change everything as soon as you arrive

It’s important that you resist the urge to make an instant impact on day one of the new role. First, aim to gain a better understanding of the ecosystem of the company, how different departments collaborate, and what the strategic priorities are.

Taking this ‘watch and learn’ approach will enable you to understand how and where you can deliver the most value most quickly. You will also avoid treading on anybody’s toes, and comfortably complement the work that is already being done.

Over the initial few months or first year in your new position, you will have the opportunity to adjust to the workplace. You will become aware of the distinctive challenges of the job, integrate yourself more fully into the team structure, and take greater ownership in shaping the role.


6. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver

It can be tempting to do this when you first enter a company, especially in initial meetings and inductions where you want to prove yourself from the very start. After all, you’ll be understandably eager to demonstrate your value, and you may have already formed opinions or ideas of what needs to be done as a priority.

Additionally, because it’s a new position, many stakeholders will be excited to have you on board, and keen to see change and progress. However, try not to succumb to the pressure of over-promising and under-delivering. Instead, take a measured and realistic approach to the new role to succeed in the long-term.


7. Have the confidence in your skills and abilities to make the right decisions

Keep level-headed and avoid the temptation to try to prove yourself within five minutes of arriving. Instead, make sure each decision you make is strategic and informed, and will have a positive impact.

Remember that even the first steps in your new role should be made with the longer-term objectives you and your managers have set for the job squarely in mind. You must understand what these longer-term objectives are to be able to put in place the strategy to achieve them. It’s essential to have confidence in your skills and abilities, and make the right decisions along the way. As you are in a completely new role, it could be your strategies that people follow in the future.


What you need to remember about succeeding in a brand new role

As enthralling as it can be to step into a role that has never before existed at the company in question, it can also be a daunting prospect. It requires a certain level of creativity, responsibility and agility that may not apply to the same extent when you are taking on a previously occupied vacancy.

By following the above points as you begin your new role, you can help to shape it into the position that everyone at the organisation – yourself included – wants it to be. As a result, you will be well-placed to make the best possible contribution to your new employer’s success.

For additional helpful tips for candidates and employees, check out our career advice and market insights pages.


About this author

Robby Vanuxem, Managing Director, Hays Belgium

Robby Vanuxem is the Managing Director of Hays Belgium. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including over 15 in Hays. He started in 2000 in the world of HR and worked his way up the ranks – from consultant over Business Director to Regional Director – until he reached the Managing Director position in 2015.

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