Across organizations, roles, and the level, here is a quick checklist to refer to when you find yourself with a new employer.
- Get to know the policies and procedures because they are the backbone of any organization. Many people, I know, never invest any time in this activity, and depend on older employees for a offline knowledge transfer. In my experience, it is best to read the book first, then ask for a synopsis, and finally make your own judgment.
- Observe environment and tune your radar Coming in from a flat hierarchy, I greeted my new manager with a "Hi". It was only some days later that the expectation here is more towards "Good Morning". All organizations these days profess an open culture, but people make organizations, and they may not all be comfortable with the new age "Heys" and "Hi's". Observe the environment keenly for first few days, and tune yourself to the wavelength which is most accepted.
- Acquit yourself with palpable areas like the general management style, growth rate, management expectations etc. This is best done through observation, or discussion with your own senior or fellow team mates.
- Email signature is your identity in the distributed world. Most of the times, more than half of the people that you would be working with would never get to see you. And to them, your email signature is your strongest reflection. Have a crisp signature which states your name, designation, role, and contact details. If the role demands so, you may state your technical expertise, or any certifications that you have taken. In case you work at specific timings, it is a good idea to mention so in your signature.
- Time slot your office hours. Coming in and moving out at same or similar times gives a good impression and makes you a more dependable employee as most people would soon observe whichever time you are following and will get used to your being available in that slot. As you may have noticed too, it is all about impression.
- Get to know people within and outside the team because networking is always a good idea. Don't box yourself within your own team. It is outside that you will get fresher perspectives, ideas and opportunities.