Starting a New Market Research Job: DOs and DON’Ts

The MarketResearchCareers newsletter focuses upon the DOs and DON’Ts when starting a new market research job.

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Suggested DOs

Tip 1: Be Social
Introduce yourself to those around your desk and to people you meet in the office. Attend lunches, after work “camaraderie” events or sports outings to which you are invited. Don’t forget to look your new colleagues in the eye, give them a firm handshake, and tell them you’re delighted to be on board.

Tip 2: Meet With Your Boss
Share how excited you are to be a part of the team, and you’re looking forward to contributing. Ask your new manager what they expect during the first 30 and 90 days on the job so you are clear on expectations. Also as a market research professional, inquire if there are any metrics that would help define and ensure you’re meeting (or exceeding) expectations. Importantly, obtain an organizational chart, examples of historical reports, a list of market research vendors (or clients), and a list of upcoming deadlines.

Tip 3: Attend and Participate in Any Training
Not all organizations have a formal orientation/training program, but many do. Ask to attend so you can learn more about the “internals” of the company, division, or department.

As significant company resources are typically expended on such programs, be sure to be on-time and actively participate — particularly following lunch and one hour before the end of the session when most folks tend to “hit the wall.”

Importantly, ask for training on MR software or processes that are new to you. No one can expect you to know it all when you start — but they can in a few weeks. So, ask early.

Tip 4: Arrive on Time and Leave Later
Arriving early is often perceived as “brown-nosing,” so arrive with your colleagues. However, you should work later to ramp up your knowledge, show your commitment, and demonstrate your dedication to your new job.

Tip 5: Stretch – But Don’t Over-Commit
At the opportune time, you should volunteer for a task; it will show initiative and provide an added opportunity to develop credibility with your supervisor and your peers. However, don’t volunteer during the first week or until you have a better understanding of the “landscape” and your upcoming workload.

Suggested DON’Ts

Don’t continually refer to your old job.
While your experiences are helpful (and in some cases essential), each company and position is different. Don’t be a “know it all” or allow your past experiences to unduely shape the perspective of your new job. Live in the present, not in the past.

Don’t talk about your prior manager or company.
Enough said.

Don’t monopolize the conversation.
Let others do the talking as you’ll learn more by listening. By allowing others to “sound off,” you’ll quickly learn the landscape — from people to projects to managers. And don’t forget, people will feel better about YOU when you let THEM talk.

Don’t immediately “Buddy-Up”
You may have an existing friend in your new company or feel a strong “connection” to someone you just met, but be patient. You want to ensure the right connections are made and this assessment can only be made over time. Organizations and interactions are complex and initial interactions may not reveal the entire story.

Don’t talk about your compensation.
Keep your salary, bonus, vacation time, and other aspects of your relationship with the company quiet. If asked, smile and make an effort to change the topic. Many companies have polices regarding the discussion of such topics.

And don’t forget – enjoy your new job!

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