Finding your place

How can someone new to their role or the industry successfully acclimate? By being prepared and turning newness into an asset.

Someone once said confidence and courage come through preparation and practice. For those new to their positions, especially leadership roles, preparedness couldn’t be more essential. And for women, the journey to confidence can be complicated.

Collaborate and Acclimate

One way to carve out your place on a leadership team is by gaining a thorough understanding of the situation. Deeper appreciation of the skills and expertise needed in the role may come from industry research, meeting others in similar roles, finding a mentor—and, from the employer, an excellent employee onboarding program.

Jimese Harkley, CUDE, VP/membership for CUES, Madison, Wisconsin, is a fan of doing her homework. She notes that transitioning into a new leadership role may be one of the most difficult points in an individual’s career path, and the most valuable thing a new leader can do is prepare for the challenges ahead. “Start with a reasonable understanding of how and why things are done before you begin your role or promoting change,” adds Harkley. “Areas to grasp include leadership commitment to change management, budgeting and key stakeholders.”


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