- Do not freak out: whether this is your first job or not, this advice applies. The whole package is unfamiliar and the routines are strange. You feel more out of place than not. You feel like you are tripping over your own feet. For me, after a previous career of decades where I knew the routines inside and out, it was a shock being in a new environment with entirely different rules.
- Rely on what you know or what you have learned: which will give you a much needed sense of familiarity in all that newness. Lean on the skill sets you bring with you for comfort.
- Don't sweat the little stuff: come to grips with the biggest aspects of the job first. Learn the system in place (make no suggestions for changing it yet ... you just don't know enough about WHY things work as they do to suggest changes now) and how you are to interact with them.
- Start reeling in the smaller strings: it felt to me like I had to learn big blocks of basic data first and then, with those in mind, move on to the little details that felt like strings to be gathered in. Do not fear the little strings, nor ignore them. Know that they are there and you will pick them up as you go, when you get the big blocks down.
- Ask questions: do not be afraid to ask questions and get answers to things that mystify you. You have to learn and if it is not clear in the manual you have been given ... if there is one ... then be sure to ask.
- Find out who has the power, who you should ask: it is always good, and definitely one of those big blocks of detail, to know where the real power lies.
- Finally, understand that for at least the first few weeks, it will feel like you are drinking from a fire hose with all you are trying to take in. It does get better. Keep telling yourself that. It really does.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Managing Your New Job: Month One
Again, congratulations. More later.