One of the things that is both exciting, and overwhelming, about starting a new job is all the new stuff you get to use. In a week and a half since starting the new job, I’ve been getting used to having a Droid instead of a Blackberry, using Google Apps, learning new systems for things like HR and CRM, learning how our learning management system works for recorded training, and just trying to navigate my way around. Soon, I’ll be learning about recording those online training modules and doing live online training with our labs, all while also traveling to do training classes in a number of different places in the next couple of months.
Like I said, as a geek, having new toys, software, hardware, gadgets, etc. is pretty exciting. At the same time, that is tempered by the enormity of it all, and trying to figure out how to prioritize all of the different things I need to learn.
I’ve always cautioned friends and professional peers that starting a new job is very humbling, because when you walk in the door, you bring certain skills with you, but that first day, before you get the lay of the land, and fit yourself into the workflow, you’re pretty useless. Heck, you probably don’t even know where the bathroom is without having to ask someone.
When you start a new job working from home, the only advantage you have is that you know where the bathroom is. (And maybe where to get lunch..) Everything else, including adapting to working from home all day, is totally new! But, eventually, you learn how things work, where you fit in, and where to start. What separates the best new hires is not knowing everything when you walk in the door, it’s quickly figuring out where you fit into the grand scheme, and how you can best start playing your role effectively.
That’s why I often feel like the best thing you can do for the first week or two, is just shut up, and listen to the people around you. They are tying to help point you in that direction.More than likely they’ve been doing extra work while this spot remained open, they want you to get up to speed.
Of course, it never hurts to have some online support as well, so who can tell me about the Motorola Droid x2, and what apps I should definitely look at? 😉
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Ha! Sounds great, Mike. You hit the nail on the head — very humbling, like a fish out of water. I don’t like to feel stupid so learning a new environment is unsettling for me sometimes. But your advice to LISTEN is perfect and so true. No need to show off or rattle off your credentials. Actions speak louder than words. I’m excited for you to do the online training thing. I am doing it too for Georgetown and for LitSuppGuru. I remember when your company launched their online training program. Good luck and have fun! — Amy