010 Moving to a New Company

Today we are speaking about moving to a new company! Dealing with the stress of moving to a new company is a problem for many people. The stress can be caused by being evaluated by your superiors and your colleagues. We’ll start with the issue of dealing with stress, but a slight correction first! Let’s replace the word stress with excitement. The reason for this change is the following: our subconscious mind seems to follow our conscious mind. Calling everything challenging “stress” is bad because it puts a negative connotation to it. Instead let’s go for exciting!

"Instead of calling it stress, let's go for exciting!"

Back to the first point about dealing with the excitement of a new company. Good companies usually have good training programs or mentoring programs. Your mentor is usually outside of your chain of command, for instance you work in IT and they are in the marketing department. Companies make an effort to bring these new employees up to speed as soon as possible. Avoid retreating into your shell. By this I mean that you are there to manage! Do not be an IT manager who sits at the console all day. That is not your job. My biggest advice is make sure that you know what your roles are.

"Do not be an IT manager who sits at the console all day."

As for pressure that the higher management or the organization brings onto you? Nobody can bring you under pressure unless you allow them to. If your new boss gives you a pile of work in your first week, most of which you may not understand, it may just be a test. New employees are put under the pressure to see how much they can handle. Your new company wants to see what skills you have, not just how well you can interview. This way they can adjust their expectations as well as adjust your role accordingly.

"Nobody follows an asshole!"

Make sure that you keep you keep a positive attitude because people only follow nice people. Nobody follows an asshole. One way to keep positive is to use an achievement journal. Every evening, write down 10 positive things so that you keep in this positive journal. Make sure that you talk to as many people as possible. A great place to start is with HR. Their job is to bring you into this company. At the end of this first week you should be suffering from caffeine poisoning. Why? Because drinking coffee equals people sitting together, speaking, and you adapting to your new environment!

Stay in lead!



All right. Good to see you Olaf. So last time we left off at moving to a new company.

So I want to kind of focus on two things today: one, dealing with the stress of moving to a new company.

You’re being evaluated by your superiors and your team members, people that are under you, that’s the first part.

The second part is how do you bring in your positive things about you as a manager from your old company and not pick up any of the bad habits of that company that you just joined.

So I guess we’ll start with the with the dealing with stress.

Why do you think it’s stressful?

So I believe it is stress in terms of in this specific instance, moving to a new company.

It’s almost like you know, being in a relationship and you’re going on a first date. The first date was the interview.

The first real date is not really what I would call stress.

Okay, fair enough. Well, so you’re in a new environment. Yeah, that’s always stressful.

Is it?

There could be positive and negative stress. We need positive stress in order to be able to function. We need that little bit of excitement and nervousness.

You know, nervous or good sometimes.

So you moved to a new company? Boom. Monday morning. First day.

You’re being evaluated. Your boss says, “Hey, I need you to do A, B, and C,” and one of your new employees comes up to you and says, “Hey, boss, I need help with A, B, and C.”

So that’s that in itself is a stress. As you said in one of the previous podcasts, your leadership ability in your older company was based on having a good network.  Knowing who to go to when is very important. You don’t know that in your new company. So what I meant by stress. So what are your responses in terms of dealing with that?

Can we replace the word stress with excitement?

My point is this: our subconscious mind seems to follow our conscious mind.

And when I tell you all the time that you’re sick and you become sick no matter what, as soon as you believe that this Olaf guy usually says reasonable stuff and now he tells me for the third time that I’m getting sick? You might get sick.

Calling everything stressful is a symptom of the sickness. So this is not really what I would like to support.

So let’s go for exciting. Interesting point. So, you know, as you said before your subconscious follows your conscious brain.

So instead of seeing something in a negative way, see it in a positive way and it will be more likely to have a positive outcome?

So let’s replace it: how do you deal with the excitement of moving to a new company and all of the expectations. So first I think when you go there, you need to understand that the others in the existing company where you go have no clue either. They are as excited as you are.

Good companies have good training programs or mentoring programs. I think mentoring is the word. So here’s the new guy and an old person. This old guy is not in your line of hierarchy. So I know you work in IT. And then your mentor is somebody from the marketing department.

So that way you have somebody from outside of your organization. He’s just showing you around with all of these things. So people know companies make more and more effort to bring these new guys up to speed as soon as possible.

We pay them from day one, so it makes sense to bring them up to speed from day one. So when you go there, everybody knows that you’re the new guy.

I hate this. I bring you around and introduce you to everyone in the first hour. You don’t even know where the toilets are, and you need to go to the toilet, and you’re trying to ask, and they force you to introduce yourself to the 20 most important people in this organization.

So this is very stressful.

So some things to think about, especially when this is your first promotion, and you are the first line of responsibility.

It’s very likely that you go back onto the field where you know that you are good. So you are professional in task, eh? Yes. Now you get promoted because your old company didn’t promote you. Whatever. They didn’t have a place. And now you just made it to these first team leads.

You made it to the team lead position in this new company. Okay?

You know that your a professional at task A and you believe that you are a good manager. But you have never done this before, right?

And now it gets a bit exciting and a bit tough.

Most of the people jump back into their task A role because they know they’re good.

This is where they get their confidence from and they jump back into this. Nobody can attack you. What you’re doing there is perfect because you’re the professional.

That is not your job, these are details.So this is what I want from you.

Don’t go back to these tasks! Let’s talk IT as this Live It,

Lead IT. It’s an IT podcast for right IT leaders. So with my promotions, I was always good in IT and IT infrastructure. This is my claim.

So don’t go into arguments and into wild discussions or contests with your new employees.

They will try if they’re smarter than you are.

Lots of managers try to battle against that. “No, I’m smarter than you are.”

I say “I understand what you are talking about here. Two thoughts for you: first thought, I’m not competing with you in your realm, okay?

I’m not here to compete with you. I’m not your colleague. I’m your manager. Number two: pray, that you are better than me. Otherwise I don’t need you.”

So don’t try to take on this battle. Make it clear that I understand what you are talking about. I’m not too shy to ask when I don’t understand it anymore.

You are not winning the trophy here. When you are as smart as anyone around, you win the trophy. When you’re helpful, Mr. New Employees. Yes.

So I ask when I don’t understand it.

This is my invite for you to explain it to me and not too smartly or a little bit more to show off how cool you are and how much more detailed you are.

So make this clear. Make this real.

And for some people, this is punishment because now they moved into this new company, into this new city, and into this new role.

You know, it’s it’s a triple threat.

And now I get to the word stress. Lots of people make stress in their own brains because they overtake it. And then the result is that they step back and then you have these IT team leads who were just playing around with the server console all day, right?

So I think my biggest advice is make sure that you know what your rolls are and make sure that you talk to your people openly on that. They got to be happy when you say I don’t know.

Because this is the only reason why they’re in the company, right?

So as for pressure. What if the higher management or the organization brings pressure on you?

You have practiced martial arts.

Nobody can bring me under pressure when we’re in a combat.

If I don’t want this. So if I want to go against you and you have a different strategy, you’re not in the right mood, you have something in your mind you aren’t willing to take my pressure that I put on you.

Then you just step aside and step back and you just dance around. So you do boxing, I did sword fighting.

It’s not possible to bring me under pressure because I just keep stepping back. Step back, Step back. Step back.

And when the time is right, then I don’t step back anymore and then strike.

People think that pressure is a dance with one participant.

Tango takes two. If your new boss, week one swamps your desk with this stuff which you don’t even know or you don’t even understand what this is. Maybe it’s a test.

Go back and say “Dude, even at the risk of you thinking I’m a complete idiot, I understand what this piece is.

I tried to access the system. I don’t have access yet. I’ve written this down here. I have no clue what this is about. What report do you want? What is this project? Ever read about that? Remember, it’s my day five here.” So play this open.

If your boss is a real jerk, then you want to find this out in the first week rather than after a year.

So usually it’s that the new guys is just put under the pressure just out of fun to see when they break or if they break.

So just the other way around.

I’ve hired you. I pay you 100,000 per year gross. Yet and I have only had two hours of interview conversation with you.

And now you’re more expensive than my car outside?

It took me months to decide on my car outside. And now here you are. I test drive you. You’re my new toy.

So let’s see if I can break you, right? Yeah.

I don’t mean this as humiliating. And I don’t mean this ironicly.

I wouldn’t do this to just make fun of you.

I want to see as soon as possible what is behind what you gave me in the interviews.

Where are you? Were you surprising me? Where do you break in the first hour?

I want to see this. And nothing is better than just just throwing you stuff.

It’s like a famous heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson says. “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face.”

So you can say whatever you want in an interview, but performing under pressure is what actually shows what you can do.

And as you said, maybe it’s not done in a negative way. I just want to see you what you’re capable of.

That way I can adjust my expectations and I can adjust your role accordingly.

If I know you can handle this specific project, then I’ll do this project next time. I know what your level is.

Let’s assume you are a personal trainer at a gym. And the new guy comes to you and says “I want to do the marathon in a year.”

So what do you do? You test the baseline, You see where they are. “Let’s start with you give me as many push-ups as you can. Now go on the bar and give me as many pull-ups as you can. And also sit-ups. Go, go, go. You regret that you came to me.” After this one day, I know what your strengths and weaknesses are. So this is usually the same.

So make sure that you that you keep a positive attitude. Here’s this new guy, and he came in with a smile on Monday. On Tuesday he received his e-mail account.

On Wednesday, he was not smiling anymore. And since Thursday, he doesn’t even go with us to the canteen.

Yeah, and he’s not smiling. He’s not greeting anyone. What a jerk he is!

So we need to talk about leadership and what the attributes of leadership are in a later episode.

People only follow nice people.

Nobody follows an asshole. We can pretend that we follow you because you are the boss and you pay me my money. But if I think you’re an asshole then I never follow you. Following is a different thing. Following is like this: I have an idea or this vision. Let’s go there and then the people are following. This doesn’t happen with assholes because they don’t need anyone.

So make sure that you stay in a positive attitude.

If this helps you, use an achievement journal. That means every evening, you write down the positive things. 10 positive things so that you keep in this positive journal. If it doesn’t help and it’s really terrible, then check the salary line in your contract or the bank account!

Well, in the first week, you may not have anything.

So they made a contract with you. Understand that this is a different island.

This is like when you’re in Europe and you compare this with a holiday in America. I mean, you lived there, but for all the Europeans that go to America, a majority of them come back and say, ‘Well, this is funny land, isn’t it?”

Because a ton of details are different. Yeah, they speak our language like Americans, and they look like us, and we can get along with them, but you get into this grocery store and this lady says “Hello, sweetie. How are you?”

You know, Germans don’t talk to each other. This is the best thing that we do when we go into with community people that we don’t know.

This was close to getting hugged, you know. It is a very weird feeling.

So I like it. But all of this is the attitude in this new company.

Make sure that you talk to as many people as possible.

Go actively onto them. Start with HR! Usually the girls are there!

I really mean it.

You know, when you’re a guy and when you’re a girl, start with HR. Their job is to make you to bring you into this company. Human resource is usually where these people are who just really know what this is about. So go there, talk to them.

Ask your boss who are the most important people that you have to know.

I assume that one of the first appointments is that he has the meeting room prepped and ready and introduces you to your colleagues.

Then you gotta have coffee poisoning.

At the end of this first week, you got to have it because to me, drinking coffee equals people sitting together with people and speaking.

So these are my thoughts on the first day at your new company.

All right. Thank you Olaf!