You have started a new job and you are required to come up to speed with your new job requirements very swiftly. This is a very anxious time for you and for many new starters.
Your boss suggests you shadow a colleague, who is a top performer. What can be gained from this?
1. Finding solutions – the thought process
I have no doubt that you will be faced with challenges during your probation period. By shadowing a top performer, you will not only get a good sense of the corporate culture and work ethic but you will also get an insight into the thought process behind finding solutions in your new company. This is an invaluable lesson which will stand to you if you have long term career aspirations in your new company.
2. Focusing on the main tasks
By shadowing a colleague, you will quickly learn that there is a lot of trivial unimportant tasks which act as a distraction to achieving your main goals. You will learn how to delegate these tasks. You will also learn how to delegate these tasks and how to communicate effectively with the person you are delegating to. On other occasions you will now be able to quickly identify trivial requests which can be ignored. Top performers will give you an excellent insight into how to effectively manage your time and what you should focus 80% of your time on.
3. Obtaining insightful information
If, for example, you are a key account manager but have little or no knowledge of your company’s key accounts, shadowing a top performer will provide you with valuable insights into various key customers. By shadowing you will quickly get an insight into various customer personas and get to know what is of importance to individual customers.
Shadowing is an excellent method of quickly coming up to speed in a new job. If your new boss has not suggested this already, then perhaps you should take the initiative and politely suggest it to him/her.