Changing Roles, Changing Perspectives

new job tipsAs if getting married and starting a new life wasn’t enough—I recently decided to accept a new job. It has taken a while for me not to trip up on either my new married name or new employer when introducing myself or answering the phone. But more importantly, like any change, it has been a moment to re-evaluate old habits and try to form new ones.

As a communicator, the freshness and open-mindedness you bring to a new role is especially powerful (click to tweet). As I approach the six-month mark here at Ketchum, I’m trying to be deliberate about the learnings I take with me beyond the honeymoon phase. Here are five things we should all keep in mind when starting a new role.

1. Question EVERYTHING.
It’s a truism that the most dangerous words in the English language are “but we’ve always done it that way…” Being new in a role gives you a special license to ask the basic questions and challenge the status quo, but it shouldn’t stop once you get settled in. Keep hold of that newbie curiosity, and channel it to your advantage.

2. Network, within and without.
It is always people, individuals, not functions or job titles, that help you get your job done. Identify a handful of people early on who have the skills, the experience, the power and  – most importantly  –  the motivation to help you move the needle; then stay close to them.

3. Creativity in PR lives outside your comfort zone.
History and context can stifle the creative process, simply because you know too much. You know what hasn’t worked in the past, you can see the obstacles all too clearly. When you don’t know what isn’t possible, the creativity can really flow.

4. You are bigger than your job.
The tyranny of the urgent: it’s a real thing. There will always be important emails to respond to, meetings to attend and campaigns to be moved forward. But you bring your best self to the office when you come with a fresh perspective. Make the time to read, meet new people and pursue your interests outside the office.

5. Rinse. Repeat.
Be deliberate about setting your goals, and be disciplined about reviewing your progress towards meeting them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, but are all those small tasks contributing to the BHAG? We all need a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

I hope these tips are as useful to you as they are to me. Do you have a helpful tip to keep in mind when taking on a new role or project? Feel free to leave it in the comments below!

With a passion for bringing innovative and disruptive ideas and technologies to market, Lisa is a partner and managing director of Ketchum’s Technology Industry. Based in San Francisco, she’s on a permanent quest for the latest technology innovations, the hottest new restaurants, and the perfect glass of cabernet.