Tackle That Newly Created Role
Picture this: You’re starting what isn’t just a new job for you, but what’s also a new job for everyone, a newly created role.
It’s a scenario both exciting and intimidating, rife with both possibilities and uncertainties. A new role is just so…new! There’s no predecessor to train you, no past work examples to browse, no precedents to use as benchmarks. Throughout this exciting, independent journey, you’ll need to rely heavily on your own fabulous self — starting now.
Feel just a little bit more confident and prepared to step into a newly created role with this imaginary Q&A with a future you who’s been thriving in said role for years.
Q: How can I possibly learn everything when everything is new?
A: You can’t, and you shouldn’t. Focus instead on learning only what’s relevant and useful in terms of the bigger-picture goals and needs, the big-picture context, in which the new role was created. You can further guide your learning strategically by setting a detailed learning agenda.
Q: If I have no predecessor in this role, who can help me with questions and issues?
A: It’s true that you have no direct predecessor to count on. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint and cultivate instead a support network of people with a variety of strengths and skills, so you’ll always have the support you need, no matter what issues you come across.
Q: How can I make sure I’m successful with no previous benchmarks?
A: A lack of previous benchmarks is actually a boon for your odds of success because you get to decide what success looks like. Instead of worrying about how to live up to past examples, you can consider your strengths and skills and set expectations based on where you think you will add value.
Q: How can I stay motivated?
A: Closely monitor your progress and successes, using a project management tool for easy tracking and record keeping. According to the Progress Principle, celebrating your successes as you grow will inspire you to do even more good work.
Q: How can I make sure leadership feels that creating this role was a smart decision?
A: Be agile and communicative. Be prepared to shift your priorities as expectations change, and most importantly, give yourself a chance to demonstrate your flexibility by checking in with leadership often so you know when it’s time to pivot.