Getting to grips with the job

For most people when they start a new job the task itself is what they are looking forward to. It’s what they were hired for, and the way they feel they can demonstrate their worth.

The other articles in this section deal with the groundwork needed to become productive quickly. If your job involves taking over and running an existing well-run operation, then you may not need to read on. This article looks at approaches where your role will involve setting up something new, or delivery of significant change.

Your first task is to determine whether the assumptions that were made in creating your role and job description were correct. Ideally, your investigation of the organisation may have confirmed the need for your role, and that you are the right person in the right position to meet the challenges the organisation has.

If it has uncovered a mis-match between the decision to hire you and the challenges the organisation faces, you have some difficult decisions to make. Read more about your
options for renegotiation here.

If your study of the organisation shows that your role is indeed the role from which these challenges can be met, then you now need to decide how to move forward.

What is the challenge?

It’s crucially important to accurately tie down what the challenge is. Many job descriptions – and often objectives, too – are loose and woolly, and a clear statement of the real challenges is often avoided for cultural and political reasons.

It may be that, although the size, nature and scope of the challenge is known, your boss and the board are choosing to handle the wider issues another way, or to attend only to one aspect of the challenge.

Either way, it is critical to discuss and agree with your boss what the scope and nature of the challenge is that you specifically will address, and the results and outputs that can reasonably come from this.