This is not a post of tips on navigating the first week on a Job. Just to celebrate the several first weeks we all have had many a time in our career. And to post a flashback of an interesting ‘first week’ in my career. .
gone are the days when people joined a job and retired in the same job/company.
But we all still know many people like that. My neighbor Ron for example retired after a 36 year employment with the same employer. In the last company I have seen some of colleagues who have been with the company for 25 and 27 years, their first job since they passed out of college. And here we are with many such firsts… I guess for some of us life is always on the move, across professions and across lands….
My most memorable first week at job was when I joined Wells Fargo in 2010. This was just after I decided to end my 7 year entrepreneurial stint and enter the consulting world. So till then I have been primarily running my own shows or working in early stage companies or small professional services firms and never in a large enterprise environment. The point being I had absolutely no clue how a large enterprise works. I was not attuned to processes and even I guess not clear on the etiquette of getting along with my job function. Two instances that stand out to me and that I tell people often.
First was when I had to my first WebEx meeting and share my screen. Till then most of my meetings were phone calls and in person. So here I have my screen shared and someone was talking on the phone. I see my colleague Arman walk over to me and signal me to stop scrolling the screen up and down.
For the past 2 minutes I have been scrolling my screen up and down for no reason and interrupting everyone who was trying to read. It had never struck me (till then) that when I share there are people attentively watching my screen and trying to read. Damn! I was so naive.. And Thanks Arman!!! You saved me…..
The next was when I had to book a conference room for a meeting. I had used Microsoft outlook, but never really had to book rooms for meetings as we were always just a handful of people and one conference room is all we had. But that was not the case any more…
So I figured the process and booked a room. After sometime another amazing colleague of mine Chaitra walks over with a gleaming smile. She struggles to not laugh and offend me in anyway and tells me that ‘Mother’s room’ is not a conference room but a room for nursing mothers. I felt silly to the point of bordering on being inconsiderate. But thanks to Chaitra’s warm smile and she helped me pick another one. Thank You Chaitra!! We need to catch up……
I thought it was just a name for a room, just like we name rooms after Einstein, Galileo, Picasso and so on.. If we can name them like that then why not a room after the word ‘Mother’, After all ‘Mother’ was the highest mark and ever encompassing of all our existence…… Well OK.. I am not defending me not knowing something basic… true…. I had no clue…. 🙂
One thing I learned after that interesting ‘first week at job’ was….
Observe, ask help and choose Wait over haste and never be late
Then after that I had a few first weeks as I moved around my consulting jobs and settled on Full time employments. But every time I finish a first week. I am reminded of these experiences from a ‘first week’ at a job. And also the amazing people I have had the opportunity to work with.
It was an amazing first week at the new job for me…… And I think I made less goof ups after 8 years since that one 🙂