116. Expert Tips to Start Your New Job - with Sue Zablud (Rebroadcast).

career advancement career change promotion women's career Jan 10, 2022
The Job Hunting Podcast Episode 116

The first 90 days into a new job are crucial, especially if you are a professional working in the corporate, nonprofit, or public sectors. Extensive research shows that the way you start sets the tone for the rest of your tenure in an organization. Changing perceptions later can be done, of course, but it's more challenging. So why not plan ahead and be strategic about the initial onboarding?

I am rebroadcasting some of the best episodes of 2021 while I take a break from my weekly podcast to recharge during the Australian summer. In this episode from February 2020, Consultant, Coach, and Coach Trainer Sue Zablud joined me to discuss one of our favorite topics, The First 90 Days.

But I am back soon and have a brand new free masterclass for you. Click here to register now

Sue also delivers an important masterclass inside my group coaching program, Job Hunting Made Simple. At first, I thought maybe adding Sue's additional masterclass was overkill, and seven weeks, the length of the coaching program, wasn't long enough to prep professionals for job hunting and successful onboarding. I love that I was wrong and stubbornly included Sue and her masterclass. The combination of the coaching and group work really boosts results, and the masterclass was essential last year when most of the group participants had already found a new job before the seven weeks was over. I am talking about great jobs, such as project management, head of sales, procurement manager, events management, CFOs, general managers, deputy-CEOs, etc. Amazing. I was impressed with the results, if I'm honest. 

I look forward to seeing you at the masterclass. It will be big, fun, and most importantly, I promise it will be packed with coaching advice about job hunting that you will not find anywhere else.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Sue, which we recorded just before the launch of the Job Hunting Made Simple Program in February last year (2021).

When did we start taking control of our careers?

Are you old enough to remember when one would get a job and expect to be in that organization forever? In the 90s, we found out that this was not going to happen anymore. Since then, it has become apparent that it is up to corporate professionals to plan their careers.

So, how do we take control of our careers? Sue Zablud shared in this interview four qualities that helped her transition jobs, sectors, and careers:

  1. Strategy: seeing connections, being analytical, looking at issues, breaking them down, and seeing the big picture.
  2. Communication: written, verbal, and being good at presentations.
  3. Input: continual learning and adding value.
  4. Empathy: putting yourself in other people's shoes to understand and lead your team.

Before the first 90 days: Sue's advice for job hunters:

  1. Take a good look at yourself and understand who you are and what you offer. Find out what your transferrable skills are. Even though different sectors require different expertise, they need common essential skills, such as communication, analytical skills, people skills, etc. Write down your transferrable skills and include them in your job search materials, whether it be an interview, your resume, or your profile.
  2. Ask yourself is, what industry do you want to work in? One of the best ways to find out is by talking to a wide range of professionals. Draw on your network. For example, you can tap into your university's Alumni, former colleagues, and friends. Think outside the box, talk to people from different areas and sectors.
  3. Once you identify your preferred industry, find out what knowledge, qualifications, experience, and skills are valued by the hiring managers. Sue recommends a government website called Course Seeker in Australia, where short courses are available for specific industries. Doing them lets you get a feel of the work and find out the language (i.e., jargon) typically used in that industry. You need to speak the language of the sector you're going into.
  4. Find a mentor in the particular industry that you want to be in. It is not easy to shift sectors, and having a mentor can help access information to support the transition.
  5. Know your values. What kind of culture and organization brings out the best in you? Don't just take the first thing that rolls up along the aisle because it could be a disaster. Start to think about what's a good climate for you? Do you work better in an organization where there is a lot of autonomy? Or do you work better in an organization where you're part of a team? Values alignment will make a difference in how long you stay in that organization.

The power of the first 90 days: It's not just a probation period:

Above and beyond the probationary nature of the first 90 days in a new job, there is also a lot more at stake that can determine your new role's success. Just because you were great in your last job does not mean you're going to be great in a new one.

A few things to consider when you are preparing for your first days in your new role:

  • What is the impression that you want to make?
  • What are your new manager's expectations of what you should do in your first few days?
  • What are your KPIs?
  • What do you need to do to ensure you will "fit" in the organization?

You have to get on with your team, be accepted by clients, and win your peers' respect. You have to be ready and have a plan. You can do this with a career coach to understand what you should do to prepare for this period.

Critical goals to aim for in the first 90 days - probation period:

  1. Achieve the outcome that you have promised. Do it well, and do it in a way that looks good for the organization instead of making you look good.
  2. Build good relationships. It's not just customer relationships. It's also managing up and demonstrating that you're a good member of the team.

About Sue Zablud

Sue is an experienced non-executive director, human resources professional, internationally accredited executive coach, mentor, and facilitator. Sue currently leads the Human Asset Development Group (HADG), a consultancy focused on the design and delivery of leadership development/executive education, board governance/strategy, mentoring, coaching, and career management solutions. Her focus is on engaging and empowering individuals and groups across the industry, not-for-profit, the professions, education, and government.

Sue is responsible for growing HADG into a highly respected international human resources consultancy. She has grown her own portfolio of appointments to include board positions in the public and private sectors. Sue has successfully served on the board of the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, served as Board Chair of the Royal Women's Hospital Foundation, and as a Non-Executive Director of private companies.

Episode timestamps:

  • 07:26 - Sue's career journey
  • 12:22 - Taking control of your career
  • 13:03 - Sue's key strengths that helped her in career transitions
  • 15:50 - Advice for professionals looking for work in 2021
  • 18:45 - Using industry-specific jargon in your application
  • 22:01 - Finding commonalities between sectors
  • 23:30 - 'Do you know somebody else I can talk to?'
  • 24:28 - What are your values?
  • 25:34 - The first 90 days
  • 28:35 - Goals to aim for in the first 90 days 

Links mentioned in this episode:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Enjoy the episode, and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert

[email protected]


I cannot recommend it highly enough.

To my friends and colleagues who are currently job hunting, this podcast is for you. Renata Bernarde and her stellar line up of guests very generously share their perspective, advice, behind-the-scene secrets, tips, and anecdotes. "It's called The Job Hunting Podcast (it is what it says on the tin!) Guests include Anita Ziemer, Michelle Redfern, Mohit Bhargava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run. Don't Walk." - LinkedIn post shared by Amber Knight.

We listened, and we both got jobs!

"I am writing to let you know that I got a job. I found The Job Hunting Podcast because a friend of mine recommended it, and he also was successful in his job search. Your podcast tips and chats with guests helped me prepare for my job interview. My new position is a gateway to the organization and will allow me to grow as a professional. Thank you for the incredible work you do! We listened to your episodes and assimilated all the learnings." - Listener from New Zealand.

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