Day One of a New Job

Walking into a new workplace for your first day can be a really strange feeling.  Not only do you feel like an outsider but you may have that overwhelming feeling of “where do I start”. Just like a sprinter in a race it’s important that a new employee get a good start out of the blocks.  Well, today is my first day as the new Chief Launch Officer of the Launch Network.  So I thought this would be a good time to share my Day One plan.

The first day on a job is about getting yourself set up for maximum efficiency. So I would recommend thinking through 4 key areas to help you get a good start.

  1. Relationships – Strong relationships will always be a key to success in any organization.  It’s a good idea to ask for a list of employees prior to your first day.  Have someone who knows the office well to go over who does what and the systems it takes to get things done in your new environment.   Once you have a basic idea of who does what spend some time walking around introducing yourself and getting familiar with where people office.  Don’t wait on others to help you get integrated, take initiative and reach out to everyone you can.  If you have an administrative assistant spend at least an hour with him/her getting to know them, their strengths and establish common expectations.  Also let them know your strengths, weaknesses, values and priorities.
  2. Information – Being in a new workplace means learning a lot of basic things all over again.  So it’s important to set up an orientation that will help you learn how to operate some of the basic equipment and systems: Phone system, Copiers, Fax machine, computer, database.  Have someone give you a tour so you will know where to find what you need.
  3. Supplies –More than likely you will walk into an office that’s pretty bare, so you will need to have the person responsible for ordering office supplies place an order so you can get set up with the basic necessities as quick as possible.  Here is my supply list:  Stapler, Tape dispenser, paper clips, files, 6 x 9.5 spiral bound notebookwhiteboard, dry erase markers, board eraser, four color highlighters, sticky notes,  In-out box, Giant wall calendar, magnetic numbers and months labels, large easel size sticky note pads and a scanner.
  4. Priorities – More than likely before taking a new role you have had time to think through some of the top things you want to accomplish early on. Because you’re new to your role and will still be learning what’s expected of you I would recommend that you put together 4-6 priority objectives for your first 90 days.  Think through the most important things for you to accomplish during this crucial time period.  Type these up and post them where you can see them every day.

What would you add to this list?

Planning Your Planning

Writer Lester Robert Bittel  said, “Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.”  Leaders seem to recognize the importance of planning but the majority don’t consider themselves to be planners.  So here’s a simple principle for those who struggle – plan your planning.  Why not take this opportunity here at the end of the year to plug in the times you will plan in 2010. Here’s what I would recommend.

  • Plan your year once a year
  • Plan your quarter once a quarter
  • Plan your month once a month
  • Plan your week once a week
  • Plan your day once a day

Today’s Leadership Challenge:  Before the end of the year schedule your 2010 planning times in Outlook, Google calendar or calendaring tool of your choice.