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New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?
2

New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

(OP)
I want to inquire from all those who have experience being in a new role.
Background: Hired for new position, three days in, they might as well be talking in another language.
Plus with COVID restrictions, working from home as a new employee is disorientating.
I do not understand the company specific terminology and lingo. I have the required experience for the role, which was listed as 1-2 years experience.

How much do I “bug” people to get up to speed?

In my other positions, I gained knowledge over time, and strategically asked senior members for help/advice or simply absorbed it by being around.

What worries me about this new position is that the senior member is retiring in 1 week and keeps saying umatrix is taking over this. I do not know what “this” is

Looking forward to your thoughts

Umatrix

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

I would think being clear to the listening population as a whole as to your prior experience in the field, your current lack of understanding (potentially company-specific) lingo, etc. would be a good clearing of air for everyone. It shows a willingness to admit ignorance, a willingness to learn and thereby relieve that ignorance, and everyone will breath a little easier. Some may use it as an opportunity to belittle or keep you in a subservient place, so be prepared to deflect/handle, as appropriate.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

The only dumb question is the one left unasked.

If I were in your situation I would ask a supervisor or the supervisor leaving in 1 week about anything I was confused about. There's no shame in inquiring about things you don't understand.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

2
The other dumb question is the one you've asked before and not taken note of the answer.

The other other dumb question is when you have made no effort to work out the answer yourself.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

You just have to ask what they mean when they use lingo. Before I ask, I would try to find out on my own but I would not spend all day, just a few internet minutes. This forum is good to ask what some term means but even an answer from this forum may not be what they are referring to. I did a posting several months back on "chain wall", a term I never heard before this year. Then I heard it three times in a short period of time. You may also find out their definition does not match most of the rest of the world.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Every company I have ever worked for had some of their own jargon, their own words. Example, technicians at the company I currently work for often refer to the "jactuators" on certain machines. That is a made-up term if I ever heard one. Unfortunately most folks quickly forget what is was like when they were new, and use company terminology without even thinking about it. Do not hesitate to ask about any term you don't understand. Tell them you want to be careful not to misinterpret so that you understand exactly what they mean. Most folks will appreciate your desire to get it right. As stated before, some will use the opportunity to poke fun at you. Expect that. In fact, learn to do it yourself, be self-deprecating when you can. In general people will appreciate your concern, and will be more careful in their language.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

The best way to find out what the person meant is to ask that person. You also can ask your supervisor for guidance.

They will know you don't know what they were talking about eventually. But there are 2 scenarios and you have to pick which is better:
1. you ask right away and are able to follow the conversation intelligently
2. you don't ask, and waste weeks of work time and screw up something major because you didn't ask what it meant and tried to pretend you knew.

I bet your supervisors peers would like to find out with #1.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

At first I thought this was just another "lost noob" question. But I realized how many onboarding disasters I have seen over the years.

Among the disasters are managers who ignored new hires and failed to assimilate them. One had even gone a whole week without realizing the new guy was his! So, yes, you have a legitimate concern.

First thing is to act the part (sort of fake-it-til-you-make-it). They brought you on to the team, so act like it, because you ARE.

They need you, and they need you to be functional and knowledgeable. Pursue this.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

I have something like 32 years of experience, but still when we start a project for a new client things get lost in new jargon and acronyms.

My approach is to say "I'm sure that I know the ideas you're talking about, except that I don't know what you're talking about because I don't know your jargon."

And two minutes later when the acronym is decoded we are engineers discussing engineering.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

I worked in a non-engineering capacity a few years ago and everyone was throwing around COD in conversations. I thought, gee these folks really want to avoid being stiffed on a job. Found out later COD did not mean Cash on Delivery. On top of that some of them never heard of Cash on Delivery. I wonder now if they just never heard of cash?

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Quote:

The other dumb question is the one you've asked before and not taken note of the answer.

The other other dumb question is when you have made no effort to work out the answer yourself.

There's often a resource that would answer many of the questions. A set of design standards, for example. One of your earlier questions should start with "Is there a resource that would answer this?" or similar.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Here is a method I used that might help you. When I was new I would write down everything I wasn't sure of in a notebook. When I got back to my desk, I would do a quick internet search, including the company website, to see what I could learn and write them down. After several days I would make time to sit down with either my supervisor or the senior engineer to go over these in a large batch. They were more than happy to answer simple questions in that way.

After that initial introduction, don't be afraid to ask for clarification on something you are not familiar with during the course of a conversation. The worst thing you can do is pretend you understand something right up until you are expected to make a decision on it.

Surely the retiring senior member would be willing to take a 30-minute phone call (since you say you are working remotely), to answer a lot of questions for you.

Chris

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

I would dig into your employer’s product literature, engineering standards, and training ASAP to find what you can. After that I would make a list of all nonstandard jargon you have heard them use, place the standard equivalents you have learned/figured out next to them, then sit down with your supervisor ASAP for clarification of the rest.

Once you have established your knowledge and ability in the future, I would look for opportunities to standardize their language starting with sales. If a customer can’t easily find your product/service from a simple jargon search online, or can’t understand technical details what you’re selling they won’t trust you enough to buy. BTDT many times.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Since you have limited time, I wouldn't be shy in asking questions - especially if you're going to be expected to take ownership of something. If it were me, I'd ask the person leaving for a one-on-one meeting right away to let them know what your plan to self-educate is (collect feedback on their suggestions to optimize this process), ask for their help in answering your questions, and see how you two can work together to manage this transition. I assume that the person leaving will want to help you be successful, but you will have to take the lead on getting their help in a timely manner.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

(OP)
Thank you everyone for your suggestions.
I have Been using them daily.

Update: about a month in, I was handed 35 different projects. Had only 2 hours briefing with the individual that retired.

Now it is me and the boss (who is too busy to help)

In my last role I worked on about 3 medium paced projects, and was just getting my footing. Then was laid off due to Covid.

The job description matched key elements of my experience and required 1 to 2 years experience. The interview went well and the position sounded like a match.

However I was not told I would be the sole replacement for a multiple decade Employee. I did not even think to ask if I would be replacing anyone. (Next time I will for sure )
During my short meeting with the person I replaced, he said that it will take 2 years to get a handle on the role. Which that’s under the assumption that you have an experience stratification of team mates who you learn from.

I want to tell my boss that I think I am in over my head, but not sure what to do. Any advice ?

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Prioritise your tasks. Work on task 1 for a day or until you hit a blocker. Work on task 2 for a day or until you hit a blocker, or the blocker for task 1 resolves itself. etc etc etc. reprioritise your list every couple or weeks, cc your boss. If any of those 35 jobs are no brainers that just need a couple of hours, do them when you are fed up with your high priority jobs.

Switching between jobs takes me about 2 hours, so every time your boss says 'this is just a quick one', explain that you'll lose 2-4 hours. That's why I work in day long blocks where possible.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Make a plan and get your boss to buy into your plan on how you intend to work through this. Godspeed.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

(OP)
Update: about two months in, I find myself using those once frightening and unknown acronyms daily and with ease. Thank you CWB1.
Also, I am shocked how many things I do in a day. Thank you Greg Locok for that suggestion of task distribution. I've lost the feeling of being timid, in terms of asking questions. Even during remote work i've built up a nice group of cross-functional people to ask questions. That helps greatly.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

You're welcome. Keep your heels dug in and no doubt you will succeed.

RE: New Role, how much do I assert myself in the beginning?

Great news. And thanks for the update. Nice to see things turning out well.

batHonesty may be the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.bat
http://www.EsoxRepublic.com-SolidWorks API VB programming help

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