First 50 Days of a New Job: A Marketing Specialist’s View
This isn’t the first blog that I have written for The Virtual Training Team webpage, however it is the first blog that is about me and the professional practice methods that I incorporate into a workday. Keep in mind that when we start looking at practice and productivity techniques, these are the things that work well for me; the best methods for you may be different, it feels strange that today is my fiftieth day.
While time has flown by, I have also learnt so much; from awkwardly saying hello to my manager on day one (I’m looking at you, Abi) to being able to start work today with a to-do list knowing what ‘ad for Train the Trainer for Facilitators’ means and how to do it.
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I should probably start by explaining a bit about me and what I do here at VTT.
So, hi! My name is Amy and I write some of the content you see here on the website (not just the blogs), across our social media channels, emails and more! I am studying towards my MSc in Digital Marketing & Analytics and in my (very sparse) free time I like reading, running and drinking a lot of coffee (but not at the same time!).
Whenever we start a new job, whether it is the same role in a different company, a promotion or we have changed directions completely, it can be tough to navigate your first few months. You want to effortlessly integrate into the team, but you don’t necessarily have the full picture of the company or processes that are already in place that you should be following.
That is where the onboarding process comes in.
Getting to know the people you work with every day and talking about roles and responsibilities can transform your broader perspective. This is what has had one of the biggest impacts on my ability to pick up tasks and approach them.
I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have when it comes to onboarding and the time that people have taken to share their experience and expertise with me, especially when everyone is already busy with their own tasks.
Good Practice and Productivity Techniques
Keeping an eye on tasks (outstanding and completed), progress that you are making and any unexpected situations that crop up are essential when approaching work. Here are the top three techniques I have been using over the last 50 days as I have adjusted to working with VTT!
1. To-Do List (Prioritising!)
I cannot manage without a to-do list!
While you may enjoy keeping a note of tasks digitally (maybe you have a document or a post-it app), I work best with handwritten to do lists so that everything I need to do can stay within my line-of-sight during the day.
Tending to have two lists with me, one for my tasks for the week and one for tasks for the day, means that it is easier to keep sight of everything that must be done but also that approaching a new day doesn’t become overwhelming.
A second thing that can be done, especially if a to-do list is extremely long, is to give tasks numbers depending on what must be completed first. This can help you to prioritise your to-do lists as well as work out when you can fit in new tasks.
Not only can to-do lists help you manage your time and keep sight of deadlines, but it can also give a visual representation of your success.
We have all had those days at work where it feels like you haven’t managed to get much done; but if you look back at your to-do list, chances are you’ve made more progress than you thought!
2. ‘Two-Minute Tasks’
If you haven’t heard of this technique it is designed to be a method that reduces the likelihood of procrastination when approaching tasks that take less than two minutes (it takes a ‘stop planning / start doing’ approach).
In the last 50 days this technique has proven extremely successful even if I have been flexible with the definition of two minutes (anything that is going to take me 60 minutes or less sometimes). So, if I’ve just had a meeting or opened an email that highlights a new task for my to-do list that will take concentration but will only require (up to) 60 minutes of undivided attention that is what I will do.
That means that I can check another thing off, and it doesn’t invade my headspace as I am getting on with tasks that require more time or creative flow. There is nothing worse than trying to get into the swing of a task but have something in the back of your mind going ‘but it won’t take very long / but it needs to get done’.
3. Time Management
While ‘two-minute tasks’ are a small percentage of time management, I want to reinforce how much time management can influence your productivity.
There are occasions where you will underestimate the time you have or overestimate the speed you can complete a task; we all have days where the email that would normally take five minutes to write ends up taking half an hour.
The important thing to remember is that if you are having a day where it is taking longer to get things done that you don’t feel guilty. Instead accept that it is happening and try to regulate your day by the time that you spend on a task, rather than forcefully working on something until it is finished.
One way that I circumvent this is that when I start work in the mornings, I’ll check in with myself and see how I am feeling.
Knowing how you are doing and knowing your capacity for the day (and limits!) can feed into how you manage your time for the day and ensure that you are being productive but are avoiding putting yourself under immense stress and pressure.
If you start of the day with a to-do list and you only manage to get halfway through one task you set out to do because other things cropped up, be assured that it is ok!
You have prioritised more important things or you’ve ended up spending the day in meetings and supporting/communicating with colleagues.
Still Learning, Still Adapting
Over the last 50 days I have learnt so much about the company and my profession, but I’ve also learnt so much about myself (although that’s a blog for a different day!).
But my journey is not yet over!
Over the upcoming 50 days, I am striving to keep learning and developing, positively contributing to the workplace and continuing to do what I love, finding inspiration as I go.
I suppose that’s what it’s really all about, continuing to employ the mindset and methodology that helps you thrive.