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May 15, 2006

News & Opinion: For New Hires: Sink or Swim Week 2

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:41 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Welcome to week three of the Sink or Swim: New Job, New Boss, Twelve Weeks to Get it Right blog. This week we focus on getting clarity on how your job fits into the bigger picture of team and company objectives and look at a couple ways to work more effectively with new team mates and your new manager.
In week two you will want to focus on these areas:
  • Identify / confirm your specific responsibilities: What does procure resources really mean? Get very clear on exactly what is expected of you.

  • Refine your routine to make the most of your time: When you know how long it takes to get from point A to point B you on your way to becoming the master of your schedule.

  • Define what you know and what you need to know: The first step in making a contribution is understanding what you have to contribute. Equally important is defining what you need to learn more about.

  • Identify roles and responsibilities of your team mates: Understanding their roles will provide context for your job and know who to turn to for help.

  • Continue to network: Get out there make small talk and shake some hands!

The Big Picture
As part of exploring your new environment (last week) you began to identify your companys product services, competition, and industry fundamentals. Once you have a picture of what your company does you can than begin to define how your position, objectives of your team or immediate organization are linked to these broader elements. You are part of an ecosystem and its important to understand how the pieces come together.
Makin Friends
Increasingly teams are expected to collaborate. This means that job responsibilities between you and your coworkers can quickly get fuzzy. While it is a good thing to collaborate on projects with teammates, it is also important in those projects to identify specific roles and responsibilities. If there is something of interest that your teammates are responsible for and youd like to try it on for size in order to learn, ask them first. Also let them know why you are interested. The more information your teammates have about your interest and rationale, the more likely they will be open to have you cross the border. The key to working together is to make sure you approach your teammates from a place of curiosity as opposed to imposing (i.e., telling them how it is).
This week make sure you make contact with your manger to clarify any questions you have about your position, projects, and additional expectations. While you have got their attention, confirm their preferences for communication (how often, via what methods, and what level of detail). To ensure employment longevity you will want to identify your managers management style and align your actions accordingly.
What new manager / new employee faux pas have you encountered or avoided?
[Check out previous Sink or Swim blog entries here: intro; week 1]