In her first career column for TheLatch—, CMO Michelle Battersby shares her tips to settling into a new job. Having recently left her post as APAC marketing director at Bumble to commence a new role at the CMO for Keep it Cleaner, Michelle knows a thing or two about making a smooth job transition.
I’m so excited to join TheLatch— team to bring you a monthly career column that will arm you with the confidence to smash barriers and pave your own way to career success and happiness. But first, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Michelle Battersby and I started my career in the finance industry straight out of university, where I studied human resource management and industrial relations.
Like many 21-year-olds, I thought that’s what you should do: study and then commit to a career in your field of education for the rest of your life. But to my surprise, I quickly realised what I had spent five years studying really wasn’t for me. I wanted more, and that thought scared me — what do I do now?!
Always wanting more from my occupation led me to a number of role changes in my career to date, and in being brave enough to go after what I wanted, I’ve progressed so much with each position and have had no regrets.
In fact, I’d strongly stand for the fact that in 2020, many successful careers are no longer linear but rather like a lattice. So, if you’re like me and looking for a challenge, know it’s not a bad thing to make a career change. No one tells you to settle for love, so why should you settle for a job?
Seeking both a challenge and a change, I decided to leave my finance position to become the first employee of Bumble in Australia, launching the app across multiple countries as the Director of Marketing.
After three amazing years, I made yet another change — both career-wise and city-wise — all the way to Melbourne for my new position as Chief Marketing Officer of health and wellness app, Keep it Cleaner. And I couldn’t be happier.
From my experience, the desire to start a new job can result from a multitude of reasons. Maybe you’re completely over it and ready for the next change, or perhaps you may have been struck with an opportunity you’re not sure you are ready to make.
Whatever the reason for your new career move, settling in can always feel a daunting. Here, I’ve compiled a list of tried-and-tested tips for starting a new role on the right foot.
1. Set coffee catch-ups
In your first week, set aside the time to catch up with each team member over a coffee. Those initial coffee dates can be awkward, but they really help build relationships and help you better understand how your team likes to work. This is important for any job level, whether you’re just starting out, or leading your team.
2. Go above and beyond
If you want to get noticed and stand out, you really need to go above and beyond what’s expected of you. Put your hand up to take on additional projects around the office.
3. Seek out a mentor
My mentors have helped me so much in my career. It’s great to gain external perspective and have someone to chat to professionally who is independent from your work environment.
4. Set goals in week one
Your first week is a great time to set goals for your new role. Write down your initial thoughts, ideas and goals and refer back to them regularly to remind yourself of what you want to get out of the role and contribute to the business. Your goals are extremely valuable and can become lost quickly once the workloads increases.
5. Stay positive
Every career move or big change comes with fear, anxiety, and excitement. I saw a great quote the other day which read, “the more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them, too.” Believe in what you’ve done and remember why you did it.
6. Apply your past learnings
Starting a new role is incredibly exciting. It gives you an opportunity to almost reinvent yourself. If you did something you loved in your last role, do it again. If you could have done something better in your past role re-do it.
The six tips above apply to everyone embarking on a new chapter in their career — the level of seniority the position possesses has little influence on this whatsoever. Of course, there are a few nuances to consider.
If you’re joining a brand-new company:
The best thing about a role that never existed before, a new company or a big career change is that you can create the role you want and need. This takes a very assertive, proactive personality type, so if you know something fuels you, create it!
If you are more experienced:
Be prepared to build the structure you need around you. You can’t feel disappointed if it doesn’t already exist. If you’re a leader — the whole point was for you to build it, so create what you need to do your best for yourself and the company.
If this is your first job in a large corporation:
Every person you meet from the start of your career to the end is an opportunity to create allies. You need allies to succeed; you need people around you who support you and who you support back, so don’t ever underestimate an introduction, be that an EA or a CEO.
Check in once a month for Michelle Battersby’s column with TheLatch— for advice and tips to help you build the career you want.