While you are under cover at the fertiliser factory:
Virtually everybody has made the same mistake, so don't beat up on yourself! It is such a relief to get a job offer that our first instinct is to say "I'll take the job!"
When you got the job offer, you were jazzed. You were not calm and centered. You signed the offer letter and sent it right back. That's okay. Now you have a job -- rejoice! You got the offer, and that's a big accomplishment.
As soon as we surmount one hurdle, Mother Nature always gives us a new challenge to deal with.
Your next assignment is to get answers to each of these ten questions concerning your new job:
1. What are my compensation plan details including salary, bonus and benefits?
2. What are my working hours?
3. What are the company's expectations around communication (email, text, phone) after hours?
4. What are the expectations about taking work home?
5. Will I travel for this job -- and if so how often, and for how long, and to which destinations?
6. How will I be evaluated in this role? When is my first performance review? What other metrics will my boss use to evaluate me (weekly or monthly targets, e.g.)?
7. How does this position help the company hit its goals?
8. What is the dress code?
9. Can I work from home sometimes (for weather reasons, or when I might have an infectious bug but am still able to work from home, e.g.)?
10. Can I shift my schedule when appropriate to accommodate special situations (like your Tuesday evening class)?
The next time you job-hunt, you'll get answers to all these questions before you sign your offer letter, or better yet, before you receive the letter.
Your panicky feelings this time around will teach you to cover all the details next time!
You don't need to panic. You can cover some of these issues (like the basic working hours and the dress code) with Phil or your HR contact via email before you arrive for your first day at work. Other topics on the list are better handled in a face-to-face discussion.
If your medical plan premium is higher than you expected, you will rise to that challenge. You might have to choose a high-deductible coverage option that comes with a lower monthly premium, or cut another household expense to pay for a richer medical plan.
We are all CEOs now. We have to run our careers like businesses. Throughout your career you will have big decisions to make, including decisions about whether to accept a job offer or turn it down.
It is important to make big decisions when you are calm and have time to think through the ramifications of accepting or rejecting the offer. With luck, you and Phil will work things out with no trouble.
It's good that you already mentioned your Tuesday night class to Phil. On your first or second day or work you can remind Phil about that, like this:
Teddy: Phil, do you have a second?
Liz: Sure, Teddy! What's on your mind?
Teddy: I have a quick question for you. We talked just briefly a few weeks ago about my Tuesday night marketing class at State U. It's through the Continuing Ed program. It's a fourteen-week class that goes through July. I need to be at the downtown campus at six p.m. on Tuesday nights so I just wanted to let you know. That shouldn't be any problem, right?
Liz: I don't see any problem with that. We have a regular meeting on Wednesday morning and you'll have two reports to bring to that meeting, so you'll want to get a head start on them so you can get out the door and get to class on time. You'll need to leave here by 5:15 to get downtown by six.
Teddy: Okay, that's good to know.
End of Script
Keep in mind that every time we step into a new situation, we are beginners all over again. It's not bad to be a beginner -- it's a good thing! It's disconcerting and we can easily feel silly or stupid or inexperienced.
Resist the temptation to get down on yourself.
Keep breathing and tell yourself "How would I learn anything new, if I did everything perfectly the first time?"
Congratulations on the new job Teddy--
CEO/founder of Human Workplace
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