Friday, July 06, 2007

Following Up After Accepting Job Offer

I am working for the largest telecom company of my country. I got a very good packaged job offer matching my salary and role expectations. The company is an offshore startup IT company and is part of a multi-billion dollar foreign telcom. This company will be dedicated to serving the IT/software needs of that parent telcom only. The foreign telcom company has never done any business where they are setting up this startup.

After I got the job offer (in PDF) on 18th of April I accepted to join the company on 16th of June 07. Post to this, I did a couple of follow-ups and as of today the company has not yet setup their HR guidelines, still building a Workplace and there is still confusion as to whether the new employee orientation would be done in the foreign country or by taking a temporary place near the offshore development center.

16th of June is the joining date and I have left my job at this stage. How should I communicate to them so that I get full clarity without letting them feel "This guy is now in a mess," or "This guy does too much follow-up"?

by John West Hadley, Career Search Counselor, “Helping Job Seekers Who Are Frustrated With Their Search”

First off, what was going on between when you received the offer on April 18 and when you accepted 2 months later? Were you negotiating a better offer? What sort of follow-ups were you doing during that period, what forms did those follow-ups take, who were you in contact with, how often were you talking with various people, and what reactions did you get? What you did during that period, and how you handled those follow-ups will already have set the stage for how you are perceived at your new company.

At this point, you may be building on the strong, professional image you created during the past 2 months, you may be in damage control mode trying to rebuild the reputation you created, or you may be in a relatively neutral situation. Now is the time to get squarely focused on doing everything you can to ensure you are creating outstanding first impressions with your boss and co-workers.

You definitely want to continue to maintain regular contact with your new boss, showing that you are very interested in the job and the challenges you are going to help them solve, and that you are eager to make the best possible contributions to their operation as quickly as possible.

Instead of trying to explicitly set up a discussion on the uncertainties you are concerned about, I would recommend scheduling a meeting or phone conversation with your new boss to explore deeply the challenges he/she and the operation face, how you fit into those, and the expectations for what you are to accomplish on the job in the first weeks and months on the job. In the course of that discussion, it will be natural to ask questions about anything you are uncertain about, so that you will get the information you seek, but with the context focused on what you can do for the operation. If there are any key questions still unsettled at the end of that discussion, particularly ones that are more of a technical or HR-related nature, ask whom the boss might suggest you contact to get those resolved.

You might also ask for any suggestions your new boss can make on what you can do to get up to speed quickly. Perhaps there are product guides, operations manuals, or general industry/company readings he/she can offer you. See if you can get an organization chart, both for his/her operation and the company as a whole. Ask if there are other key members of the operation it would be helpful for you to meet before you start. Then you’ll be in a position to do a lot of research, using LinkedIn and other sources to find out everything you can about the company and the key players that you will be meeting shortly.

For more of what you need to think about when starting a new job, I invite you to check out my articles. One you will find particularly relevant is “Hit The Ground Running In Your New Position.”

You might also be interested in my Career Tips email newsletter. You can check out the contents of past issues on my website.

Good luck!

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