It used to be the case that you had about 90 days to get “up to speed” and begin adding value at a new job. The expectations were relatively low that you would or could be able to competently do your job before that point.
Times have changed. The need to fast track the ramp-up time is greater than ever, and very rarely will an “employee handbook” or “how-to manual” answer the most important questions (if such a document even exists). But the nice thing about being new is that you can ask all types of questions and co-workers are generally quite gracious in responding.
In my own recent new job experience, I’ve found the following 12 questions not only crucial to my ramp-up, but in many cases also beneficial to those I ask.
1. Where is the supply cabinet?
And the coffee pot, creamer, copy machine, scanner, bathroom, emergency exit, front door key, and any other obvious but not always stated need for functioning in most offices. Get these things out of the way on your first day and you’ll feel less at sea when the inevitable ambiguities arise.