October 2, 2023

Cracking the Career Code: Tips for Starting a New Job and Resilience 


Episode Highlights

Are you asking the right questions in the interview?


How long should you give a new role if you aren't happy?


Should you consider a counteroffer?


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Join Matt and Kierra for an insightful episode of “Cracking The Career Code” as they delve into valuable tips and tricks for navigating the challenges of starting a new job. We recognize that the initial stages of a new job can be challenging, but by cultivating resilience, you can conquer any initial doubts and barriers, setting yourself up for success in your fresh role.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Cracking the Career Code with Matt and Kierra, where we provide candidates the keys to success in their job search. Today, we are going to be talking about tips for starting a new job and resilience. So Matt, do you want to just start us off with what you think we should think about as we’re going into the interview process?

Yeah. Yeah. So obviously before you start a new job, you got to find that new job, and that starts with the interview, right? So one thing that I always tell my candidates who I’ve submitted to a position, they get selected for an interview is that these companies are interviewing them as much as they should be interviewing the company, right?

Evaluating whether that company or that role is going to be a good fit for what they want long term in their career. Is it the right next step, for them? Are they going to enjoy the culture, the environment, the day to day work that they’re doing. So if you’re not asking the right questions in that process, you’re not really going to know from, let’s say two hours of talking with individuals at that company. So you really got to ask questions at every phase. You got to ask the same questions to different people within the process to kind of sift through the BS, right? If answers aren’t lining up, it might be some red or orange flags of like, am I getting the full truth about this environment?

So really just interview the company as much as they’re interviewing you. Yeah, you don’t want to go into a job having questions and then realizing that it’s not a good fit because you didn’t ask the questions that you should have during the interview process or to the recruiter. Those are all things that, if it’s important to you, make sure you have answers so that you’re not blindsided or have any surprises when you start.

But also a good thing to remember, when you do start a job is that you are not going to change the world in a month or even six months. It’s going to take some time to see an impact and make a significant impact. And I think that’s a good thing to just remind yourself when you’re starting something new because it can be discouraging when you’re not seeing results right away. And I think it’s very normal not to see results until you are fully acclimated and get into the process of how things work and are actually feeling comfortable in your new role. Yeah, I talked to a software developer recently here that said he’s never really felt like he’s made, like truly impactful contributions until he’s worked at a company for a full year.

So I know that’s just like one example, but it did happen recently. So, you’re not going to change the world right away. Like you got to learn the ins and outs of the environment and the technology and absorb some of that tribal knowledge from people that have been there longer. I’m curious What do you think should be the amount of time you should give a new job if you are unhappy in it?

Yeah. You know, hard to say right because like a toxic workplace is a toxic workplace. So, you know, obviously you don’t want to stay in a situation like that, that’s going to make your mental health suffer as quickly, like your work life. It’s impossible to leave that at the door. You know, you bring that home into your personal life.

So, definitely situation dependent. I think, like If you’re six months into a job and like you still feel like you’re spinning your wheels and you’re not getting anything done and like you’re miserable, then maybe that’s when you hang it up. But, you know, one, three, four, even five months, like, I think you’re still trying to figure out things at that point.

Yeah. And I would say if it’s not affecting your mental health and there’s other reasons that you’re just not happy that maybe those will get better over time, but it’s definitely, I think, up to each person, what is important to them. And one thing that I suggest asking in the interview process is what does the first month look like in this role?

What does three months look like? What does six months look like just so you kind of get an idea of where you should be at and what they’re looking for as far as your role and your success in the role so that you kind of have an idea going in of what’s going to be expected of you. And that could give you some reassurance then when you’re feeling discouraged and where you should be and where they’re expecting you to be. So I think that’s also a good question to find out during the interview process.

Yeah. And I’ll also just ask, like, how is my success going to be measured at each of these points? And, if one expectation is set, and then, maybe at 90 days, you were supposed to have a check in with your manager. And then that never gets scheduled, like be proactive and reach out to that person and say like, “Hey, I’d love to do this 90 day check in, want to know your feedback on how I’m performing.” So you have to be proactive and in any new role, you got to seek out the right people. You know, even I think like finding out who the right people are, can take time at a new job. So, you know, continue to ask questions, continue to meet people, continue to build relationships, all going to be really important for you to succeed in your new job.

Yeah, and one thing people don’t realize is that you are still in control of this process. So, sometimes companies move really quickly. What would you suggest if someone is having a hard time understanding the role or just needs more time? What would you do in that aspect? Sure. Yeah, so in competitive job markets companies move through the interview process really quick. Maybe it’s like a week and a half, two weeks, all of a sudden you’ve got an offer. Maybe you’re talking to a couple other companies, you want to see those through. You can pump the brakes with a company. If they really want to hire you, they’re going to go at your pace, right? So, maybe you reach back out to them and say like, “Hey, I’ve really enjoyed conversations up to this point.”

I’d love to learn more, could I have another conversation with the manager? Or could I talk to an engineer on the team? Or, you know, someone else that might be able to offer a different perspective that you may not have gotten in an interview process where the interviewers are mainly asking, you as the job seeker, questions. So it’s okay to kind of take control of the process, make sure that you’re making the right decision, make sure that you feel comfortable stopping your search and cutting things off with other companies that you’re chatting with.

Yeah. And you can be transparent, about where you’re at in your interview process and that can kind of help as well with scheduling and just making sure that they’re kind of aligned.

But let’s get into counter offers because I know this is a topic that I feel strongly about. Every recruiter does, right? You probably do as well, but, I want to get into like when you should consider a counter offer. And my opinion on it is if you’re leaving a company, for any reason, is this counteroffer going to fix that?

And if you do accept a counteroffer, why were you not given that opportunity, or that compensation while you were still there? Why did it take leaving for you to get that? So, in my opinion, I think those are things to consider. And if that’s something you value, is someone who values you and it doesn’t take you leaving or getting another offer for the things that you need or want to be achieved, then I think that’s something to really consider for your longevity with the company. And my thing is if it’s not compensation related then what would be your reason for accepting a counter offer?

So I think those are all interesting things to get into. Matt, what’s your take on counteroffers? Well, I think any recruiter is going to tell you, like, when should you consider counteroffers? And the answer would be never, right? You know, that’s a recruiter’s worst nightmare. But even the stats and the numbers say that those who accept counteroffers, within six months, they’re leaving the company anyways. You’ve got one foot out the door, you know, there’s money on the table that wasn’t there until you said you were going to leave. Just like you said, you know, they promised change, maybe more responsibility, different projects, whatever it might be like, you know, those counter offers are dangerous and, usually filled with some hollow promises.

Yeah, and I think that your company then also questions your loyalty to them. And if you are still searching, I think that will kind of always be in question after you tell them you have another offer somewhere or looking somewhere. So it’s always just, something to consider when you are thinking about taking a counter offer, the long term effects of that. But also I kind of wanted to get into transparency, when you are interviewing, because I know that some people have trips planned and major life events.

So can you just kind of walk us through what should be considered when interviewing, when it comes to those things? Yeah, sure. So, you know, it’s end of September, early October right now. So, you know, we’re coming up on holiday season, and that also means like bonus season, right? So, this is like the time of the year where if you’re looking for a new job, you need to be transparent with your recruiter. You need to be transparent with the companies that you’re working with. Whether you have a two week vacation planned. Maybe you have, like, a longer notice period because, like, these are peak times of year where you’re wrapping up projects for the year and it might be longer for you to transition out.

Maybe you want to stick around until your 2023 bonus gets paid out. Like, these are all factors that are going to play into, like, are you just going to have a two week standard notice period and then be able to start a new role, right? So, recruiters are going to start asking questions about this at the end of the year.

But it’s also something that you should always be thinking about as a job seeker of like, what does my timeline look like to start a new role? Yeah. And, the surprises, like if you know of something that’s coming up and you get a job and then tell your company that doesn’t look great because then they were wondering why you didn’t tell them that.

So I don’t think it’s a great start to your job anyways. But also I think when people start new jobs, they have a sense of imposter syndrome. I know that some people just feel like their impact is not what they want it to be. And it’s kind of like what we talked about earlier in this video, that you’re not going to make the biggest impact right away.

So I think just giving it time and just making sure that you’re reflecting and seeing that you’re doing the best that you can do. And I think that’s really all you can ask, and also just like talking with your other colleagues and making sure that you’re on the right track. I think that will help with imposter syndrome, but I think it usually occurs with people who are really frequently in like the high achieving status and they just have a hard time internalizing their success to their actions.’

So, do you have anything else you wanted to add to that? Yeah, I mean, I’ve been recruiting for I think seven or eight years now and like I still suffer from imposter syndrome where I’m like, “Do I really even know what I’m doing? Or if I’m just like going through the motions, right?” So, you know, it’s going to be something that people always battle with whether or not they’re just starting a new job or they’re, in mid, the late stages of their career. You know, take those little successes or those little accomplishments that you make and pat yourself on the back for them.

You know, it’s okay to be okay with your success and not try and let that spiral into self doubt or anxiety or apprehension of being exposed as a fraud. Like, if you’re really crushing at your job, like you probably are. If people are giving you positive feedback, like that’s probably because you accomplished something not because like you’re faking it, you know. Yeah, they’re not going to just tell you things that you want to hear unless they’re true. Yeah, exactly, exactly. I agree.

Well, thanks for joining us again today on Cracking the Career Code and go check out talentinsights.hirewell.com for more content and follow us on LinkedIn if you aren’t already. Thanks.

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