Weekend Poll: Onboarding to Your Role

Like me, you may know one or more assistants who have recently begun new jobs. Do you remember the first couple of weeks in your current role? 

Onboarding ideally begins before day one

The interview process is an opportunity for a prospective employer and employee to assess skills, opportunities and mutual fit. It can also provide insights on organisational culture.

An employer’s follow through on interview outcomes also provides insight. I know of some assistants who waited more than a couple of weeks to learn the outcome of their interviews. In such instances, it’s easy for people to anticipate the employer is negotiating with another candidate, but that may not be the case. While delays are understandable, an employer who hasn’t communicated timelines can sometimes lose the top candidate to an employer who was able to complete their recruitment process in a more timely manner.

Your first week on the job

Think back to your first days and weeks in your current position. Hopefully Day One established a good tone, beginning with a friendly welcome and a series of introductions. Apart from being provided resources, contact lists and schedules, you may have had some time with the incumbent.

It’s not always realistic, though, to anticipate that you’ll have access to your predecessor.  I accepted the job offer for my last role knowing that the incumbent would vacate the office a couple of weeks before my start date. With that in mind,  I booked a bit of vacation time so that we could spend a day and a half working together before her departure. We focused our time and energy on organisational practices and introductions to some of my soon-to-be colleagues, and attended a meeting together.


Sink or swim?

Ideally, a new employee will have early access to SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), online and other onboarding resources. Building an understanding of the organisational culture also serves newcomers well.

My experience, though, is that the expectations of job preparedness increase with the level of the job and responsibility. Increasingly, senior EAs are expected to be able to step in and pick up the reins as you transfer your well honed skills to your new environment.

This brings us to this weekend’s poll. How was your onboarding experience when you stepped into your current role?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say … and watch here for results on Tuesday.

2 Comments on “Weekend Poll: Onboarding to Your Role

  1. I look forward to seeing the results of this poll. I am now retired but the last position I held was interesting. It was a very small nonprofit and I was their first admin (part time at my request). The Executive Director went over the basics, a volunteer who came in once a week provided a lot of the details, and it was pretty much learn-as-you-go. I did write procedures which were given to my successor about seven years later. This was not the first time I held a position where it was the first time they had administrative support.

    • Thanks, Joyce, for writing, and I’ll have the results posted early next week. Am sure your successor appreciated the procedures documentation.

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