I am in the process of reading/reviewing a book by Emily Bennington and Skip Lineberg called Effective Immediately – How to FIT IN, STAND OUT, and MOVE UP at Your First REAL JOB. As I go through it I will share some thoughts that make me go Hmmmm . . . This posting is based on one of those moments.
As I started through this book I found myself grinning at some of the helpful hints. Not because they were funny (other than the statement – If someone farts, ignore it), but they were the kind of things that are simple, obvious, and too often lost in the shuffle of starting something new.
Advice I liked:
Under the heading Have Patience – a quote from Sir William Osler (a pioneer of modern medicine): The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well. A great reminder not to get caught in the who is looking and what is the next project. Just focus on what is in front of you.
Professional etiquette: Listen more than you talk – Obvious, but how often do nerves translate to communication misses such as talking too much. Remember that when someone talks about themselves it stimulates the brain in the same way as when someone is eating or receives money. Get others talking about themselves and listen.
Professional etiquette: Always clean up after yourself. This one makes me smile, because my first job was in a steel mill where nobody every cleaned up after lunch and expected the janitor to do it for them. Then I worked for a company that had a cultural norm around this, and every place I have been since I still wipe down the counter in the coffee counter when I leave. I watch for this habit.
Reality check: Traditional HR departments are either gone or spread thin. Most new people do not really know the function of the HR department, so they will not miss them. But this statement is true, and even more true for smaller organizations. The book goes on to give a list of Macro and Micro items that could be used by anyone to do their own onboarding plan. For example: Macro item: What are the key responsibilities of your job? and Micro item: Who is your supervisor or boss you report to directly, and who do they report to?
So far I like it. As with all business books I believe they need to be read with a partner or small groups. This book is written in short sections that fits that model very well, and is a great reference tool because each short chapter equals a skill.
More to come . . . .