November 6th, 7 am, my alarm is resonating, my eyes slowly open and as I feel the strength to turn up and step out of bed I land on a pulsating pain on my heels. Nothing specifically wrong other than being confined to stiff dress shoes with a weak memory foam pad. I get moving and changed to meet my boss for our post-conference meetings.
I’ll spare the details of these as they are just consolidations of the same evaluations of Conference arriving from different teams and perspectives. All good, see you next year.
This wasn’t done in the midst of my pre-cons, but I was able to summarize every moment where I felt there was a moment to improve: could we have communicated better, we proofed this program thirty times yet allowed a monstrous typo to rear its ugly head, why weren’t we able to staff “X” room during the bulk of conference?
I may be too hard on myself but I felt that these failures are unacceptable. Better practices must be implemented upon my return to the office on Thursday. On the face of it, the Conference with out a truly noticeable hitch. But I’m on the other side, I’ve seen and heard everything that was needed to.
You’re taught to evaluate campaigns in many PR classes, a dog is a dog no matter the breed and like a campaign, there’s plenty to evaluate, analyse and report on an event and what needs improvement.
There’s plenty of work to do.
Congratulations, you landed the job, now what?
My first weeks in the office were not simple, but things were not over my head. I should note, that my first month poured right into preparing for a 3 day conference hosting over 7,000 professional and future professional engineers. What was I going to do and how was I going to help make this conference a success? Here are a few takeaways from my first month in the job.
1) Organize Yourself
The truth is, most of your working time is ensuring that you are organized. Getting all the pieces handed to you in a new job in a theoretically readable order will help to guarantee the rest of your day is spent productively. This is where that fun little tidbit in the bottom of your resume saying that you were good at Outlook in your internship comes in. Trust me, it’s about working smarter, not harder and if you think simply, everything else is. I recommend using Outlook to scheduling all your deadlines, ensuring you’re included on all meeting invites, and flagging important emails.
Bonus: Use the “Export to One Note” function in Outlook to quickly put emails into an easily editable format so you can keep track of the important ones and not waste your time.
2) Get to know your coworkers
Building relationship with your coworkers helps you and helps your organization. It’s a simple thing to do, but extremely hard for some to execute it. The best advice I can give for this is keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to get light. Some people enjoy the slight conversation, but these relationships are built over time, for me it took the length of time between my first day and the end of conference to fully flesh out the best relationships I have in the office.
3) Always ask questions
I cannot stress this enough. You will grow much more by asking questions, than assuming and move on. You must go into your job reminding yourself that this is not as simple as a professor handing you your assignment sheet and giving all the details in one quick scoop. Your manager will not have the same time commitment on hand and it is absolutely imperative that you prepare yourself to ask questions, good questions that show you have a grasp on the assignment but will need a final advice before truly taking control.
It may feel a little nerve wracking to ask, but never forget that someone was in your position one time.