On starting a new job

I recently started at a new job. A new job title, responsibilities, office and work environment. Change. Training. Overload.

This job is my third “professional” job (I’m only counting jobs I had during or after uni as professional here) ever. And the new job is at a big company. The new firm I work with has been super supportive and helpful, but of course that doesn’t stop the requisite information overload and “culture” shock (very mild in this case).

As I often do on my blog, it’s time for a reflection. I thank the mundane commute I enjoy for the time to write these blog posts.

This new company is quite unlike anything I’ve worked with before. I’ve always worked in either small businesses or in small teams (when I worked for QUT). This firm is giant; the number of business offerings is extensive; the scope of my work is radically changed. These types of changes mean I have a lot to learn.

But the are three things I’ll takeaway as lessons from these first few days in my new job.

The first thing I’d call out as important is to find supportive people. This wasn’t hard at the new firm as there is a strong culture of support and the team coming together. I probably would have tried to meet for people in the earlier days to learn more and find additional points of support in my team. But that’s hard given people are often out with their clients. Such is life.

Another thing I found important was finding a way to process all the information that gets thrown on to you. Being a big company, there were a lot of processes and documents showered on me in the first few days on the job (although, this seems to still be the case as I keep learning). The thing that worked the best for me was talking through these things with the other grads and my buddy (another good initiative this firm has).

A final takeaway I’d bring up is that you should never be afraid to ask about anything. I’m fortunate to work for (and have worked for) companies with open, transparent cultures. Questions are welcome, and indeed prized, in these environments. Questions support dialogue and get things done. I know not everyone has the type of organisational culture to support this type of communication, but just one question can really go a long way.

So there are my worldly insights on business after 12 days on the job. I’ll say I am very happy with my job and look forward to learning a lot!

What tips and tricks did you find important in your first days and weeks at a new job?

Check out these pads!

Now it’s my turn to wade into the Apple tablet blogging foray. Generally I was surprised that more than I predicted came true, especially in terms of pricing.

But first, I must comment on the name. Apple didn’t call it the iTablet, iSlate or iBook. Rather, Steve and his friends go and call it iPad. Now Steven, get some women in your workshops and focus groups. Never name your product so that it can easily be made fun of. Besides, it’s one letter off iPod, and an unusual accent could easily make the two sound the same. Please rename it soon Steve.

The device itself features classic Apple styling, it is sexy and eye catching. Two important things wer missing: a landscape oriented dock port, and a webcam. I can live without an extra dock port, but a webcam? What? Let us hope that Wired’s story is correct (see http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/02/apple-ipad-may-ship-with-webcam/). I’d want to use this thing for Skype, and I would be devestated if Skype didn’t work or there was no webcam, or worse both.

The screen resolution is perplexing (4:3 aspect ratio). The PA-Semi designed A4 processor sounds interesting. The apps look sexy. iBooks looks like a new place for me to blow iTunes credit. iWork for iPad looks innovative, but somewhat limited. The keyboard dock looks good, as does the ‘very nice’ Apple-designed case. This could be my netbook, if it can impress me.

The price though was the nicest surprise. I was expecting to pay much more, but it seems $499 is an excellent starting point for the device. It is US dollars, but the Australian Dollar is strong, so the price difference should be very reasonable. Fingers crossed.

Overall, I want to see a little more content and try out the device before I decide difinitively if I like it or not. Here is hoping Apple has one more thing up it’s sleve before shipping date.