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Making an Impact in Your New PR or Digital Media Job

Congratulations - you've been offered that great job you were hoping for! It can take six months to grow into a new role and different corporate culture.

To help you on that path we've compiled a list of things that will make your new employers pleased that they took you on, plus keep you in good stead with your old company.

Added on 21.07.2013

Leaving on good terms

Whether you've been happy or not in your current role, whether you like your old boss and colleagues or can't stand them, hand in your notice properly, and make sure that you remain respectful and professional in all communication with your old company.

Leave the film star exits to the film stars; the dramatic score-settling in Hollywood films is best left to the imagination. Be sure that you fulfill all obligations to the letter before you leave and do what you can to ease the transition. It's a smaller world than you think, and burning bridges is never wise at any level.

Get the personal email or other contact details of those you reported to so that you can apply for a reference if you ever need one in the future.

Putting in the groundwork

Find out as much as you can about your new company, especially its competitors. Get extra information related to your new role if you can from your new employers. If you can, try to meet those you'll be working with before you start (perhaps a meal, cup of coffee or quick drink) to get a few names, faces and personalities fixed and get past the 'getting to know you' stage.

Once you've started, always say 'yes' to any lunch or social invitations to begin with. Sometimes just as much can be learnt in more informal discussions than in formal meetings. Most professionals love to talk shop because their job is their passion, so soak up as much information as you can about office culture, politics and how things work in practice, not just in the employee handbook.

Be sure to agree what's expected of you...

If your manager doesn't approach you to do this, then make the first move: set up a meeting to agree tasks and goals for months one two and three, as well as how these will be measured, and how often you'll review your progress. Make sure that you are clear on what you are expected to do, that it is realistic, and that it can be demonstrated. Then break these goals down into steps and set yourself deadlines for each one to keep yourself on track.

Please do check out our companion piece which has specific advice on your likely responsibilities, and how to perform them properly.

... and be reliable

Above all, do what you said you would do. Get back to your manager with answers and updates in a timely fashion and be sure to communicate clearly, strongly and regularly around any deadlines. If it looks like you're going to be unable to meet a deadline, notify people involved as soon as you can and see if you can negotiate an alternative date. If you then deliver to your original target you'll have covered all bases and shown your consideration and commitment.

Let people know about the change

Once you start to settle in, this is a great excuse to touch base with people in your network or pipeline, online or off. Send emails and messages, and schedule phone calls and meetings to find out what's going on with those people you are particularly interested in. You have something new to talk about; maybe they do too. Either way, this is an opportunity to re-establish contact, with all the benefits that brings.

Get some results 

You don't have to dazzle in your first three months or pull off anything amazingly ambitious; just work out what you can do well, fairly quickly, and do it. Be sure to keep a record of all your wins and the work that went into them so you can easily demonstrate what you've done at your initial reviews.

Be inquisitive

Carl Sagan famously said "There is no such thing as a dumb question." Don't be afraid to be inquisitive and ask questions. If you can, find a mentor to bounce ideas off: someone experienced who is clearly respected at the company, who really knows all the 'ins' and 'outs' and can help you make the right decisions and choices early on.

Be the person they hired!

Remember that person at interview? It's likely that you projected someone who would greet a problem or setback as a challenge to be overcome, who showed passion for the job, and enthusiasm and willingness in difficult circumstances. Keep a 'can do' attitude and not only is it more likely that things will get done, it's also likely that you'll impress your new colleagues and your new boss.

For more more tips on the four things you'll need to shine at, click here.