Time is an irreplaceable asset. Once you lose it, you can never get it back again.
During your first days at a new job, one of the best ways to get started on the right foot is to brush up on your time management skills.
Time management is a process. It involves planning, prioritizing, and exercising control of the minutes, hours, days – even weeks and months – you spend on various activities, so you can work smarter, versus harder. By setting the tone during early days, you’ll not only make a good first impression, but also position yourself to:
- Deliver work on time.
- Deliver higher quality work.
- Be more productive.
- Minimize your stress and anxiety.
- Enhance your quality of life, as you’ll have more time to spend on your personal life.
Sounds good, right? Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running:
Get to know your boss.
In addition to the manager you report to directly, are there any secondary supervisors you have responsibilities to? Arrange to meet with each of them soon after you start your job, so you can get to know their personalities, work styles and preferences.
- How do they prefer to be approached and to communicate?
- Do they prefer regular meetings or more impromptu contact?
- What reports do they require, when, and in what form?
Actively listen during these initial meetings and repeat key directives back to them to check your understanding. And, take notes. If you’re using your own device for this purpose, be sure to tell your boss it’s for note taking only and that your phone/text functions are off.
Get to know company systems.
Find out about existing systems for workflow, delegation and project management. If you’re not already familiar with them, make sure you quickly learn them. If there is no existing system, you can set up your own using Trello, Teamwork or a similar tool. (Hint: Bonus points if you recommend a system and it’s adopted. You’ve already scored an early win!)
Cut out distractions.
It’s especially tough to control your time when you’re interrupted by distractions. On a new job, there will naturally be many … but once you get beyond the initial introductions and start to feel a basic level of comfort, you can focus on eliminating whatever it is that pulls you away from the task at hand. For instance, if it’s checking social media or phone messages, set aside a specific time for this each day and otherwise, leave it alone. Turn off those notifications for the time being.
Ask for feedback.
After you’ve been working on a task for a short time, but have done enough to have something to actually show for it, check in with your supervisor to make sure you’re on the right track. Ask:
- How am I doing so far?
- What, where and how should I change things up before I go any further?
They’ll appreciate it – and so will you!
Time management can be challenging in any field, but recruiters tend to feel the pinch more acutely than many, due to the often hectic, unpredictable and deadline-driven nature of their day-to-day work. For more tips on honing your time management and other skills as you grow your career in talent acquisition, contact Search Wizards today.