Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New old job

I started my new job yesterday. I got an administrative position supporting a pretty similar engineering firm to the company I worked for for more than ten years, and my position itself is also very similar to what I was doing for a decade. (Except today I'll be getting introduced to some elements of design work that I never encountered before, so we'll see how that goes. They say they'll make a designer out of me.)

My current workstation
So here's the thing. I was immediately thrown into helping my new boss with two letters of interest, simultaneously, and they were due later the same day. It was extremely familiar territory for me, and if I had seen something like this without my background working for engineers, I can tell you right now it would have been Martian. I was proofreading and formatting the letters, but also fact-checking the qualifications of some consultants we were teaming with (so we could list them in a required table at the end of the letter) and generating documents that always get submitted independently through another portal. I volunteered to do that for my new boss and he let me without checking anything I was doing, and it seemed like even though a lot of what I was doing was brand new, the environment for it was old, so I had all the clues I needed to find the next step.

It's like night and day compared to when I started at my old job. I had a little bit of training on everyday stuff like how to order supplies and how to do timesheets and some hints on how the filing works. Nearly everything else I learned at the time that I had to do it, and sometimes I found things out about my job that needed to be done and no one knew to tell me, like renewing licenses and subscriptions we needed. I didn't know what a tax ID number was or why it was important. But at my new job, I didn't just know where it was needed; I had a good idea of where that information would be even though nobody told me.

I figured out the copy machine and scanning system. I picked up how the digital filing and disk hierarchy works. I caught omissions and mistakes in the letters and knew the right questions to ask to make sure they got addressed. And it feels kind of weird being in a new job but not really feeling like I'm new because I know so much of what I'm doing already on Day 1. 

I think maybe the designing part isn't going to be like that. And some of my upcoming assignments aren't going to be like that. I hope they won't be disappointed after my first day involved being able to jump right in and help them. 

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