Q. This was my first day working as a full time PR person in a financial services firm. It’s tough, things are slow. I am the only PR person in the firm and it has also been hard to begin a dialogue about what our needs are, and how we will pursue them. How can I begin a dialogue with staff members and management on subjects that they themselves have not fully formed a decision on?
A. Take a deep breath. Boredom and uncertainty is common in many firms during early days on the job. In at least two of my early jobs, I recall asking myself: “Oh, God, what have I done?” Eventually, I realized the value of that start-up time. So, here’s what I learned: Spend the first several days learning all you can about the firm, its history, management team, business model, near- and long-term goals. Too many new employees don’t take advantage of the first week on the job to learn the basics since they want to immediately start proving their value. You’ll be most effective if you know what makes the firm tick. This will allow you to ask more informed questions, which will signal to management that you understand what they’re trying to do. Generally, it takes at least a week before supervisors fully engage new hires. Send me an update in a week to 10 days to let me know if you’re still bored.