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Starting a New Role in a Pandemic

I’ve met with so many people this last year who have been hired in the Pandemic. It’s not the easiest of times of start a new role, particularly in healthcare, although there is a real ‘war-time,’ roll your sleeves up atmosphere, which when approached with the right mindset, can be empowering but also a challenge.

In my last blog (and podcast number #105) I shared my actionable steps to embedding a new role virtually. In this blog, I’m sharing advice to those new recruits in these virtual (or not) roles, who are looking for support and lack the guidance in the early days of joining their organisation.

This blog post is about helping you to lead this activity regardless of where you are in the hierarchy.

The blog accompanies Podcast #107. Listen/download here.

1. Defining your first 90 days

Consider what you would like to achieve in the first 90 days of your role. Ideally this would be planned out in your induction, but if not, proactively start to think about what you’d like to achieve.

Start building a checklist of things you need and ask your manager, supervisor or buddy, where you can get, and find what you need to do your job.

I have built a getting started guide which you can find here. While I created this for Primary Care Network Managers, it should spark some ideas of what you may need whatever role or organisation you've joined.

2. Be Proactive Be Patient

Be Proactive

Ideally, you will have an induction plan in place, but as I said healthcare is busy right now and this might not be available. I recommend being proactive. Start to create one. Ask yourself;

· Who do I need to meet?

· Who will my role be interacting with?

· What computer systems are there in place?

· How do I get a login?

· Who can I speak to? Can I set up a weekly meeting with my manager to discuss this?

Being proactive and taking the initiative can only result in positive feedback, even when it’s not your job.

Be Patient

It takes time to learn a new organisation and ways of working. Use this time where you may not be at full capacity to learn, to read, to get to know people as much as possible. And enjoy it, because once you do start getting busy, you'll likely go from busy to a hundred miles an hour quite quickly.

Enjoy the opportunity to take a slower introduction to your role and to your organisation. This is very true for those hired virtually. Consider training opportunities to fill your time. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking a course, but what can you from leaders on social media or blogs. What books could you be reading/studying? Are their forums or online groups you could join?

Involving yourself is another piece of advice I can impart. Fact-find and build and understanding of not just your role but the kind of people you’re working alongside,

3. Pin down your supervisor

In a mentoring session with our Business of Healthcare Scholarship group, the topic on pinning down their clinical supervisor came up, with the problem being they found it hard to get their time. The feedback shared was to create a clinical supervisor contract, listing out;

  • What you will do and what they will do.

  • Providing a clear expectation for the meeting, “We will meet at this same time, on same day of the week. I will create the agenda. I will send you a reminder the day before.”

  • Be friendly but assertive. Sometimes I think we're frightened to vocalise what it is that we want. We instead hope that the other person will know and read our minds, but unfortunately that is not going to happen.

Need a helping hand?

I have recently introduced a 1-2-1 offering, where I can provide you with guidance and the tools to help get the most from your new role. If you would like to schedule a call to see how Tara and help you, click here and book your meeting today.

We also have a dedicated PCN Resources webpage, have written over 190 blogs and produced over 100 podcasts on our show, the Business of Healthcare, to support you in the leadership career.

Don’t forget to sign-up to our weekly newsletter, delivered every Thursday with ideas, learnings and my own personal experiences that will colour and support you in your role.

About the author

Tara has an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care and hosts The Business of Healthcare Podcast.

Tara has written blogs for the NHS Confederation, appeared on the General Practice Podcast and the You are Not a Frog Podcast with Dr Rachel Morris.

Tara has 3 children. Her youngest has Type 1 Diabetes and her middle child has the kidney condition, Nephrotic Syndrome. Working with healthcare professionals is not just a job for her, it's part of everyday life. And as a result, she has developed a huge passion for helping others to deliver excellent care.

Find out more about THC Primary Care and follow me on Twitter.

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