When you’re new, you’re going to be overwhelmed. Everyone who seemingly knows everything about your office and its customers is going to randomly “dump” this knowledge on you in rapid, shotgun-like outbursts. Usually, these brain dumps occur in stream-of-consciousness statements that begin on your first day.
In your first few days on the job, carve out some time to research everything you can about your company and how it operates. Explore your company’s website, read your organization’s marketing brochures, annual reports, and proposals.
In your first days of work you should investigate and known mainly the following:
- What are the key responsibilities of your job?
- How will your individual performance be evaluated? How often and by whom?
- What are the performance measurements by which your team or division is judged?
- What are your sales, revenue, service, or productivity goals?
- Who are your company’s key customers or clients?
- What are your company’s target industry sectors or focus areas?
- Who are your company’s primary competitors?
- What is your expected career path?
- Who is the supervisor or boss you report to directly, and who does that person report to?
- Where do you obtain business cards, company stationery, and supplies?
- How do you purchase supplies or services, and who must approve these transactions?
- Are there any reports or forms that your supervisor requires you to submit?
- Will you be required to travel? How do you submit your travel expenses?
- How do you handle a complaint or claim from a customer?
This background will most likely answer a lot of the more basic questions that every new employee asks, so you can stand out with more targeted, insightful observations.
Regardless of where you work or what industry you’re in, there are certain processes, tools, and forms that make up the standard operating procedures of your company. Perhaps you were introduced to these through a very organized, systematic orientation. If so, great—consider yourself fortunate. If not, don’t feel shortchanged or frustrated. Instead, take initiative and master the basics on your own. In decades past, when most people worked for huge corporations, the training process for newcomers was given greater attention. Fully staffed human resource departments handled orientation, or mid-level managers or supervisors were responsible for getting new hires up to speed.
When it comes to taking notes, it’s critical to keep everything in one place. Therefore you’ll want to carry your planner or a notebook with you at all times.
References: [Bennington and Lineberg, 2010] Effective Immediately