Work environment

Sarting any new employment is challenging. You must decide on the best way to get to work, and which mode of transportation is best. The work environment is new. You are adjusting to new people and new surroundings. And you are dealing with the many uncertainties of achieving stable employment and a steady income. This week we will address something to make any new employment easier and more enjoyable – assuring that you have sufficient resources to do the work.

“Ask and You Shall Receive”

The Lord said this in John 16:24. There is a parallel, but in the new work environment, you may only be in this unique position for a few days or weeks. Your boss, and even his superiors understand there is an adjustment period. Often, its actually very easy for them to think back and put themselves in your position. But you have to ask. So think carefully, what have you been asked to do? Reasonably and practically, what resources do you need to do the work, with high quality and efficiency? Ask now, after a few days or weeks you may not have the favor you do now; in fact later, your boss may even ask, “Why didn’t you tell me you needed… sooner, when you first started?”

Physical Resources

For example, maybe you need a better chair at your desk; the present one just is not comfortable. You are used to a split computer keyboard (one with “QWERTY” on one side and “YUIOP” on the other). You also could use a couple portable USB flash drives for bringing important electronic documents to meetings. There is only one chair in your office for clients and other visitors; you really should have two or three. And a whiteboard would be very helpful as you explain a new theory or process to clients.

Obviously, the list of possible examples could be long. But ask early, not after weeks of struggling without such resources. Additionally, show some discretion. Do not make a physical list, except for your reference. Unless your boss asks to give him or her a list, usually the items should be communicated verbally, just a few at a time. Do not be demanding; rather, say something like, “You know, I really could use a whiteboard and some markers in my office.” If the items have been given some thought, usually you will not even have to explain why you need them.

Human Resources

Do you need an administrative assistant or secretary? Is one even mentioned in your “work description”? If the answer to one or both of these is “yes,” inquire politely but immediately, “When will I be assigned my administrative assistant?” Give your boss some time. He or she, and the company, may be in a period of adjustment also. This may be especially true if you are filling a new position. Look over and study the organizational chart. Who do you report to? Who do they report to? Who is under your area of responsibility? You need to know these answers immediately and definitively. Also, if you report to more than one person, you are being put in a very difficult position.

At the appropriate time and place, try to get this changed. Everyone should have only one superior; otherwise, you will always be deciding which one’s work should be given priority – a very untenable and awkward situation.

The Job Description

Do you have a work description? If not, and you are working for an established company, especially a large established company, ask; there probably is one somewhere. Or, do not hesitate to ask if you can create one. Your boss, and his or her superior, will most likely welcome your help and appreciate your initiative in asking. However, be sure you already have some expertise in this area and have significant confidence in the work you will be performing. Unless you have had an extensive period of internship or “on-the- job training” this may not be the case, especially if this is your first employment out of college.

Thank you for reading!