What do you do when you start working at a new place or in a new role? Do you start slow and wait to see what confronts you? Instead of adopting a reactive approach, I would recommend the following:
- Network: Networking matters. Try to get to know your superiors, peers and subordinates. Find out not only what they are working on but also what their communication styles are, their personalities and influence within the organization.
- Organizational Knowledge: No one is going to come and tell you about how to get things done. You need to find out yourself. You need to do this in the initial few weeks when people don't expect you to know this stuff. You also need to find out organizational history - what happened to the person who you are replacing, how have people grown in this organization, what is the best way to communicate, how are people evaluated...
- Seek Mentors: Don't go and ask someone to be a mentor! That never works. From your efforts to network and get to know the organization, you will find people from whom you can learn. Tell these people that you are new to the organization and would like their advice as you get up to speed. Don't limit yourself to people who you feel comfortable with because they are like you.
I am interested in hearing what suggestions others have. Please add suggestions through comments. I will periodically update this post and try to keep it current.