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Yoo hoo, flowerybeanbag et al - tis LittleMyDancing here with an update

(25 Posts)
WhatFreshHellIsThis Thu 30-Oct-08 12:46:02

Hello - new name, like it? <<twirls>>

so the new job......I had the advance meeting with my boss today. As I suspected, he's a very nice man but basically wanted to warn me of lots of politics and tensions in the team. He's understandably keen that I do well, as I'm his choice of person to do the job.

Lots of new people keen to make their mark and ruffling feathers all over the shop, and also my role will be under severe scrutiny due to my predecessor being very good at his job, and me being pregnant, etc etc

So I appear to be walking into a hornet's nest of fun next week - but at least he seems to be an ally!

Any hot tips on things to do to perform well? He's given me the two main things we need to focus on and think about, so that's good, but any ideas would be good.


WhatFreshHellIsThis Thu 30-Oct-08 13:09:09

bumpety bump bump

RibenaBerry Thu 30-Oct-08 14:01:07

Well, I'm not flowery, but my advice would be to keep your head down for the first few weeks and get the measure of people.

Too often, people come into a new job brimming with enthusiasm and with lots of good ideas, but because they are going against 'how it's done here' they can be seen as being too critical or their ideas not recognised for their value.

I thoroughly recommend spending the first few weeks listening and getting the measure of people. Ideally, you make people realise that any ideas you have are really their ideas too (i.e. you share the glory). That way, you actually accomplish a lot more.

This issue might be especially relevant to you since you are so keen to make your mark before you go on maternity leave.


flowerybeanbag Thu 30-Oct-08 14:19:10


Well I am flowery, however, as per, I agree with Ribena. [redundant emoticon]grin

Even though you're on a tight timescale to make your mark, I would still suggest making it with your approach and manner rather than guns blazing actions for a few weeks.

Make sure you meet people. If there are offices elsewhere, go there as soon as possible and charm the pants off everyone. Meet everyone else who is important as soon as possible and learn as much about everything as you can.

Listen to what everyone has to say. I don't know if you are a good listener or have the ability to easily 'draw people out', but it's an incredibly useful skill especially at times like this. Use it to build yourself a picture of who's who, what agenda everyone has and what issues/problems there are.

If you've already identified with your boss the two main things to focus on, that's good. Be very generous when it comes to others' contributions. I find a bit of 'I don't know anything about this area, really hoping to benefit from your expertise' goes a long way - people love to feel as though what they say is important and helpful, and if you are secure in your own experience and knowledge, you can apply that to even the lowliest member of staff. Everyone has something to offer that you don't and it doesn't detract from what you can offer.

Make sure you consult as much as possible when making decisions. If you're good at it, you can seem incredibly consultative and open to suggestion while still achieving the end result you want, but without any aggro/resistance/mutterings round the water cooler.


Might think of a few more pearls of wisdom later.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Thu 30-Oct-08 14:34:22

Hello Berry lady and flowery lady - thank you, very useful suggestions as per usual!

Am a bit nervous (understatement of the year!) about the job generally, so I think you're right, head down, be nice to everyone, charm as many people as possible and see how things go.

I do find myself thinking 'What am I doing, taking on a full time job that feels like a real challenge when I'm pregnant and have a toddler' but I think it's a case of seeing how it goes. As I said to DP this morning, if it makes us (i.e. me or DP/DS miserable, I'll stop.

That's ok, isn't it? I mean they can't expect anyone to be 100% sure they're going to like a job before they start, can they?

<<nervous emoticon>>

flowerybeanbag Thu 30-Oct-08 14:40:48

Nope, no one can be 100% sure. At one job where I eventually stayed for more than 3 years, I hated the first 3 or 4 months. I'd been recruited to one job description and arrived on day one to be told 'oh btw, you are now doing this other job, is that ok?' hmm Er, no, but what choice have you left me, new girl with no other job to go to?

After an appropriate amount of time being p&%^%d off but doing a fab job, I said enough is enough to my boss, and we sorted it, and I stayed for a good while.

I'm sure that won't happen to you grin, go in with an open mind, and with the very important knowledge that you have the support of your manager as well as having key priorities sorted. And if the worst comes to the worst, you can leave on maternity leave at 29 weeks, so how bad can it possibly be?!

WhatFreshHellIsThis Thu 30-Oct-08 14:46:52

thank you, you are the voice of reason!

Am still worried about DS going to nursery full time (and me working full time, which will be tiring!) but I do wonder (from some things he said this morning) whether if my immediate boss had been around for the negotiation, the flexible working discussion might have gone very differently, so maybe when ML is over they'll consider my request more positively.

flowerybeanbag Thu 30-Oct-08 15:04:44

I'm sure that's the case. When you've gone in and been fab, and then have the discussion again with the support of your manager when it comes to returning, it's likely to be much more positive.

ilovemydog Thu 30-Oct-08 15:12:36

preferred little my dancing smile

Oh and that deli you mentioned - tried to tell DP something about wine (and you cannot tell DP anything about wine) so he pointed out their signs were in violation of trade description act smile They removed them on the spot....

<sorry for hijack>

WhatFreshHellIsThis Thu 30-Oct-08 16:09:59

tee hee - they are super nice to me every time i go in now, wonder if they read MN?!

I shall probably revert to my old name at some point, this one just seemed appropriate as life is quite tough at the moment. DS is currently lying on the floor wailing because he wants something or other.

I think he's actually forgotten what he wants, he's just wailing for something to do, now.

<<sigh>> maybe full time work isn't such a bad idea!

ilovemydog Thu 30-Oct-08 19:39:59

He sounds about 2?

I had the commute from hell last month with DS (7 months then) in tow from Bristol to London where we stayed for 3 days. I did a training course and DS stayed in trendy Islington nursery.

When do you start full time?

WhatFreshHellIsThis Thu 30-Oct-08 19:42:56

spot on, 2.5!

First day next Wednesday - I think it'll be ok as long as I can get up early enough. He said most people there work 8-4pm, so when DP is here he'll drop Isaac at nursery in the morning and I can be back to pick him up by 4.30-5pm ish.

Means getting up at 6am every day though, gulp....Have been trying to do it for the last few weeks to get in practice, but it's difficult when DS is snoring away next to you and there's no real compulsion to get out the nice warm snuggly pit.

RuthT Thu 30-Oct-08 21:20:54

Absolutely be yourself. You sound sensitive to this and therefore prob empathic and if you are just who you are then people will auto warm to this.

If you have directs then you could meet them in advance in one to one meetings to say hello, but primarily to listen.

I always take three questions in my head and ask them stuff around this....

What do you want to stay the same?
What do you want to change?
What would you ditch if you could?

if they are up for conversation about themselves and it hasn't come up already ....

What in your objectives and/or development plan do you feel passionate about?
Before I go off on mat leave what would you like to have achieved?

Make sure you have a date in the diary to go to lunch with your directs.

Make the most of your induction period and meet everyone else asap and again ask lots of questions. The ones above are just as good with clients as they are with directs.

As I go around these meetings I scribble and then when I leave I transfer my thoughts onto a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) sheet and on the reverse side I just write any ideas that come to mind. I also make sure I immediately action any small items that come up.

It would be good if you think before you go in to each meeting 'What do I want this person to think about me when I've left' and write it down. You'll find that you behave in a way that means you are more likely to achieve this.

Also, I'd start to think about what you want to have achieved by the time you go on mat leave.

Oh and assume positive intent.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Sat 01-Nov-08 12:37:05

That's really good advice RuthT - thank you! I shall take it on board


WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 09:25:57

It seems my new nickname is still for this job I have to get a Basic Disclosure criminal records check, which they told me about in the paperwork they sent out with the contract. I had to get a paper application sent out to me as I haven't lived in my address long enough to do an online one, so had to wait until that came through and then fill it in and find 84 forms of ID etc etc.

So I hadn't yet posted it on Friday as I've been mad busy getting things ready for new job etc, when my new boss calls and says HR have just informed him that there's a new rule in place which means I can't start the job until the certificate is actually back and in my hands shock

Now nowhere in the paperwork they sent did it say this, it just said I had to apply for it, and my manager wasn't aware of this rule as apparently it's a new rule. Previously people have always started before their check has come through (I don't work with children or vulnerable people, it's just the basic disclosure I need).

I've had three weeks between receiving the contracts telling me I need one of these things and my start date, so in theory I could have done it immediately and got it back (just - waiting time is 15 days at the moment) but I also had to finish my old job, find my birth certificate and all my pension paperwork for the HR department, get nursery care sorted out, DS has been ill all week, etc etc you get the picture.

So now new boss is miffed because I can't start on Wed as planned, and I feel terrible about having been slow to get it done even though I didn't know it was needed.

This job is not proving very straightforward!

<<BIG sigh>>

WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 09:38:28

bumpety bumpety

WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 10:47:12


RibenaBerry Mon 03-Nov-08 11:00:01

You need a basic disclosure? Those aren't in force in England at the moment. Do you live in Scotland (sorry if you've said this and I've forgotten).

WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 11:01:14

No, I'm based in England, but I've been told to apply to Disclosure Scotland for it. It's all a bit odd.

TheArmadillo Mon 03-Nov-08 11:11:32

disclosure thing sounds weird - but I don't know much about them.

1 thing I would say is stay out of all the politics and bitching completely if you can. Wait a good 6months/1year before you decide which side you're on.

Also the place I worked it which was labelled the most difficult, because of the staff, and all the politics etc was actually my fav place to work, where I got on with just about everyone. And I found it quite supportive etc. But management wise the staff were a nightmare.

So it doesn't necessarily mean it will be all that he said it would.

It will all get sorted, and I'm sure it will all be fine in the end, but I bet you just want all this over and sorted, rather than being mucked about and waiting.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 15:10:05

so disclosure has been sorted, but now am REALLY nervous about the job......someone tell me it's going to be ok. what with the negotiation on hours/pay, the baby, and now this debacle (which involved some very senior people having words), I feel like everyone there is going to be feeling very negative about me. sad

flowerybeanbag Mon 03-Nov-08 15:14:11

It will be ok.

Presumably your boss isn't especially miffed at you for not knowing about a new rule that he also didn't know about?

Who have 'very senior people' had 'words' with? Likely to be either your boss for not knowing or HR for not chasing up I imagine.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 15:17:49

he might be a bit miffed as I had taken a while to post the application, but you're right, it's not my fault. It's hard to work out if he is miffed or not.

senior people involved head of my team having words with the head of hr - just not sure i like being so notorious before I've even started.

to be honest, what with that and the dire warnings about politics etc, i feel like climbing under the duvet and not coming out!

RuthT Mon 03-Nov-08 20:00:10

Things always seem worse when you are not in them because you can imagine worse than it will be.

At the end of the day they are just people and I do think that on the whole most people are decent. So if they are having problems they may see you as part of a solution not an additional issue.

I am sure your boss not peeved about you. As for HR and notoriety it will not be a prob they won't think twice about it.

WhatFreshHellIsThis Mon 03-Nov-08 21:46:44

You're right - I think the road to this job has been so arduous that once I actually start the darn thing I'll probably be agreeably surprised by how well it goes!

am trying to cultivate a positive outlook and relax.



thanks for advice, you're all lovely to listen to me whinging on for days!

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