So the first week in the new job has come to its end successfully!
I’ve had a great start! Everyone has been very friendly and helpful, and I’ve had a couple of tours around the company, which has helped me to better understand the business processes.
It’s brought the challenges that any new job brings… The information overload: from learning the systems, to meeting so many new people, looking at countless documents about policies and processes, learning how things work within the company and of course, getting the new computer up and running with various tools and user accounts!
I’ve managed to get some hands on experience with a couple of the systems which I’ll be predominantly working on too, which got me thinking about various different methods for learning about new systems, and about how exploration lends a huge hand when it comes to learning.
For me, exploring any new product or new functionality offers an “Inquiry-Based” learning strategy. Learning through your own discoveries is a very effective way to quickly get to grips with understanding a product! I believe exploring and questioning the product is an important method of learning.
I once found a great quote from the American author E. L. Doctorow regarding exploration in relation to writing: “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go“… I think this statement also applies using “knowledge” in place of “writing”.
We already use exploration to learn in everyday situations subconsciously… For example: take all the buttons and knobs and levers on the dashboard of your first ever brand new car – we learn what they do by trying them and exploring them. We push the buttons and pull the levers to find out what happens.
So exploring things allows us to learn about how they work. This is the exact same when learning a new product or new function within a product and this, coupled with learning from any documentation or any other resources available, is very effective.
This week, I’ve been gathering as much information about the new systems from as many different sources as possible, and I’ve been using this documentation and information in conjunction with performing my exploration on the systems.
This along with the extra factor of having very helpful colleagues who are keen to help with all of my questions, has made my first week fantastic!