I had to laugh Monday on my first day of work at my new job. I wore my exact same workout clothes, in my exact same office, in my exact same surroundings: our home. Like my former employer, Support Driven is a distributed company. To my family, my work life looks exactly the same: me in our house on my computer.
This was kind of weird to me at first. I wanted something external to be different. I was starting a new job! If I wasn’t going to a new office, and my current office is too small to rearrange, the best thing I could come up with was to change my routine. I didn’t like exercising first thing in the morning before — I was always having to choose between exercising and writing — so I figured this was a good place to start. I’m the only east coast SD employee, so I adjusted my daily schedule to work in the morning when it’s quiet, extend my mid-day break to include exercise, shower, and lunch, then work a little later in my day to maximize overlap with my coworkers on the west coast. I like this so far — I feel like it gives me a little more open space.
While not much has changed to my family, who still sees me working on my computer from a spot in the living room or from my office downstairs, the work itself is quite different, and I am gleeful about it. I get to focus on communication! Also, unlike other new jobs, when I started this one, rather than feeling lost, wondering what I should work on, and how long it would take me to get up to speed, I actually felt useful.
The week prior, I asked Scott, the company owner, to make a worry list. To dump all his fears and concerns about current projects into a document that we could go over together. Identifying those worries helped us identify gaps, and showed me where to focus my attention (and where he should focus his). From that list, we divided up the worries, so that I could take some of them from him, relieving him from carrying the entire burden himself, and freeing him to focus on the work that he is best suited to do.
What was super exciting to me is that many of the items on the list, and that I need to prioritize, are my strengths: communication, the website, and keeping an eye on the big picture. Also, apparently, HR.
So here, as I head into my third day of work, I’ve helped Scott feel better about where to focus his attention, helped clarify our roles, helped determine the benefits package we’ll be offering employees, and have created an editorial calendar for updates about our upcoming conference, the Support Driven Expo, in Portland, Oregon.
My to-do list is as long as my arm, and I have two more big things I want to complete this week, and I am loving every minute of it.