Congratulations, You’re Hired!
- Now what?
- How do you get up to speed quickly?
- What do you work on first?
- What are your priorities?
- How do you excell and impress your boss?
I put together these time management tips for people starting a new job. Video, Slide Show and podcast versions of this article are also included.
Meeting with Managers
When meeting with managers, ALWAYS have a note-taking system with you, either manual or tablet/smart phone based. If using a tablet or phone for notes, be sure to tell your managers it is for note taking only and all phone/text functions are turned off
If there isn’t an in-house system for taking notes, Microsoft OneNote is my recommended tool for taking notes. During the meeting, listen carefully to ensure you understand what they want. Repeat back the instructions to them to check your understanding.
Find the Key Reporting Basics
Find out who you report directly to as well as any secondary supervisors/managers you have responsibilities to. Explore:
- How does your supervisor prefer to be approached? Do they prefer regular meetings ?
- Is there an up to date job description?
What Are You Measured On?
Learning how your performance will be measured is key. Ask questions like these?
- What is your promotion/pay raise/job dependent on?
- What reports are required?
- When are the reports due?
- Can you review a good sample of the report they want?
Once you have this information, you can focus first each day on what you are measured on, then the rest of your duties.
What Systems are in Place?
What system is being used in your work place for delegation and/or project management? Is there a formal task management system or just email/phone?
If there is a system in place like Asana, Basecamp or Outlook, make sure you quickly learn whatever system is being used – reading documentation and looking for YouTube training videos on the software.
If there is no existing system, set up your own system using tools like Teamwork PM or Trello.
What Training Resources are Available?
Many companies provide excellent training opportunities.
Check with your manager and human resources person for:
- In-house trainers and mentors
- In-house training materials, manuals and videos
- Online and or outside courses and resources
Some firms also will reimburse some or all of your tuition fees for outside courses – take advantage of this great opportunity. If you are in marketing, see if they can help you with a marketing degree. Or if you are using a lot of Office software, see if they have support for taking classes on this software.
Track Your Time
Check if your employer has an existing time tracking system. If not, try Toggl. Tracking your time helps you find focus and shows you were your week is being spent. I recommend you review your job priorities and assign blocks of time to each of your roles.
Here are some time management tips for reducing distractions:
- Tell “chatty” co-workers you are under a deadline and ask if you can get together with them for lunch or coffee to talk further
- Turn notifications off for social media, Skype and email – just check your email regularly – once or twice a day
- If possible, try to set up a “power hour.” An uninterrupted hour each day where you work on your highest priority tasks.
Obtain Feedback Early
Work on tasks for a short time, then check with your supervisor to make sure you are on the right track. This saves you a lot of time if you are going in a direction different from what your manager wanted.
After a few weeks, ask your supervisor:
- How am I doing?
- What would you like to see me improve on?
- What am I doing well?
Here is a summary of these time management tips for your new job:
- Be organized in meetings
- Take notes
- Focus on what you are measured on
- Work with a good task management system
- Take advantage of internal/external training
- Track your time
- Reduce distractions
- Obtain feedback quickly and often