Month 2 On The Job: Finding My Role(s)

I’m smack in the middle of my 2nd month at my new job and thought it was time to take a look at the roles in the office I find myself in. I have the distinct pleasure of having a position in the office that it brand new. It’s so nice during introductions to not have to listen to: “This is Ellen, she’s the new so-and-so.” Instead, I get: “This is Ellen, she’s our new counselor.” So much better. Since I am not following someone in a position, I didn’t automatically have roles in the office that I needed to fit into. While some roles were clearly stated in the position description, such as taking counseling appointments, other roles were either vaguely implied through the PD or I have just naturally found myself in them. Does that make any sense? By finding my roles, I’ve begun to settle into the normal hum of the office.

One of the main roles I have found myself in has to do with technology. I’m not talking about the “maintain our website” type of technology. I’m in more of the “social media; web research to find, analyze, & synthesize new resources; help put cool buttons in the email signature” type of technology. I love it! Coming into this job I had a decent set of tech skills and I’m excited to hone and expand those skills. In fact, my new director said that my social media skills (among other facets of my background and interview) were what set me apart from the other candidates for the position. Yay!

The other main role I have found myself in is knowledge of using resources to research working/interning abroad. We subscribe to a program called “Going Global” that is a huge database that students can use to research different countries, look for jobs or internships, research companies, etc. They can also do all of those things for major metro areas of the United States. There’s information ranging from cost of living, to employment trends to lists of nonprofits and volunteer opportunities in the area. Long story short, I have extensive experience with using the program because of my internship at UW-Madison. The UMD office purchased the program within the past year and have been so busy that they really haven’t had time to get  to know the program. I’ve been tasked with training the rest of the staff on the program and my knowledge of Going Global has mushroomed into other responsibilities.

So where have these roles taken me so far? Presentation land! When we were scheduling all of our presentations for the fall semester, I was asked what I could do. We ended up adding two new presentations to the roster. I’ll be presenting on Social Media in the Job Search and Working/Interning Abroad & using Going Global. I’m on the docket to present about social media four times and the Going Global piece twice this semester. I can’t wait to start diving into the research and putting together the presentations. I hope that I can relay my enthusiasm for the topics to the students in attendance. One of my goals is to incorporate more daily reading about both topics so that the knowledge becomes second nature to me.

How have you found the roles in a new job? Was it difficult to settle into someone else’s spot? What are your favorite roles at work?


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