May 15, 2006
News & Opinion: For New Hires: Sink or Swim Week 2
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.
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]
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.