Tuesday, July 31, 2012
"The beginning of a new venture is a very important time." - Plato
This concept is simple to understand but can be very difficult to act on successfully. I'm now two weeks into my new role of Director of Housing at uWaterloo and the mantra I created for myself for the first 90 days is to "Meet, Read and Observe."
Over the first two weeks I would say the bulk of my time has been spent meeting people. I have had some great conversations where I have learned a great deal. My colleagues inside the department and across campus have been very supportive and welcoming. Given that uWaterloo houses over 5,000 students, has over 100 full-time staff and around 250 part-time staff in housing and a total enrollment over more than 31,000 students relationship building will be a key component of my role.
If I was to critique myself I would say I need to dedicate more time to reading and observing. Staff have pulled together a number of documents for me which I have yet to review or review in any great depth. As for observing the housing marketing staff had set up a series of video shoots, inspired by Undercover Boss, which has given me a chance to introduce myself and interact with a variety of staff as they were going about their work. This approach has helped me make some early connections and reminded me of the many tasks we undertake in campus housing.
To help me organize my approach for the coming week or two I am focused on getting through an extended weekly review - which is a key concept in the GTD model. It had been weeks since I have gone through a weekly review so I was feeling a little unorganized.
If you have started a new job recently what actions, in hindsight, do you feel you would have spent more time on in your first 90 days?
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