General Chat Thread, Starting a new job - quickest way to familiarise yourself in General; After a horrendous initiation into a new role in a different country, I still feel unfamiliar with large aspects of ...
Starting a new job - quickest way to familiarise yourself
After a horrendous initiation into a new role in a different country, I still feel unfamiliar with large aspects of the network. What are your tips for getting a handle on how things are run, and establishing your responsibilities in a new role? Are there any procedures you follow to get yourself familiarised with what is where, who does what, and when what happens in a new environment?
I felt settled within the first couple of months in previous roles, but that was probably down to good leadership...when you're in a "team" that has blurred boundaries in who's job is who's, what do you go for first? It's never cut and dry in education, I understand that, but I pretty much just got handed 3 sites with no location of information, and after a while you feel like you're nagging...so in a role where you cover everything with a plug, but can get in trouble after you've used initiative because you've unintentionally stepped on someone's toes, or done something that's "Not IT's Job", what would you do to avoid confusion? I have to be careful this doesn't turn into a rant, but I'd appreciate all your input...so I don't make the same mistake again!!
I myself came from coporate background with small staff and was quite a culture shock working in edu with nearly 200 staff, communication is difficult and stilted so it was quite difficult to find who does and should do what.
I try to get along with say the facilities staff (since they will help out with wiring and any construction related stuff you need, and any heads of departments .
The other thing is to document, find out all you can about suppliers of unknown gear, they generally know more than staff at school about how things are installed.
Other important thing is having things agreed in writing or email, there is a audit trail then
Do you manage a team or work with a team in your department? Important to get them motivated and on side, they will be invaluable to you.
Honestly, from experience, keep asking questions. People will get annoyed at you probably but that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. You will see loads of things where you think, why are we doing that like that... only one way to find out, ask.
Also clarity with your line manager on anything they can help you with, for me for example, at my previous job, the summer was pretty much flexi time, whereas at my new position it isn't, you need to work one of two shifts over the holidays. Get the non-IT issues sorted first, the IT size of things will come to you in time as you bed in more and learn more about the network and how it is setup. Also document everything you discover when you discover it.
To familiarise myself with the new network, I'm going to base what I make sure I find out in the first week on the little handbook I wrote in the "A quick guide to being an ICT Techncian at [Insert School Name Here]"
The headings I have at the moment are:
Printing Information - Server, Software, User Management, Suppliers, Any Contracts etc
Other Suppliers - Hardware, Software, Installations
MIS and other school specific software, including any generic accounts
Email System - Server, third party setup info, administrators, spam filters
School Network Monitoring Software
Map of school with switch rooms, points and numbers in each room, VLANS and WiFi Access Points
Projectors and bits attached to projectors - Apple TVs etc
What equipment each staff member and student is provided with, and what software is on said item.
Job Description limitations as to how much we help with what
Website and Intranet management
Any school specific security implementations - whether it be password policies, specific onsite security concerns, external security companies attached to projectors
SLA's for the IT team.
Filtering Policies, forensics software, e-safety guidelines
Exactly how much interaction IT has with pupils - that's varied greatly in each role I've had.
Can anyone add to the list of things you think are essential to know in an IT Team in a school?