YOU DO YOU
Creating a new role from scratch
You’re starting a newly created role, and you’re equal parts excited and terrified. This position comes with a completely clean state that you get to fill!
You’re not beholden to boring responsibilities that the person in this role has just “always done.” (Yay!) But you also don’t have any wisdom, any reverse how-tos from your predecessor. (Boo!)
We hope these FAQs will help you navigate the spectacular newness of your brand-new role and also make the most of this rare opportunity.
Q: Where do I even start when I’m building a role from scratch?
A: Start where all good things often start: with a plan!
When Mai Green (VP, Partner Engagement & Communications at Salesforce) was developing a plan for her ideal career, she reflected on:
- Her vision
- Her values
- What methods aligned with her values and would also get her closer to her vision
Q: How do I even establish my responsibilities?
A: Well, first of all, don’t limit yourself to responsibilities you should be doing. While those are important, favoring those responsibilities alone is throwing away a golden opportunity to create a job description you actually want.
Marketing & Video Content Producer Vatora Godwin, also from Salesforce, said she drafted her ideal job description but then vetted it through a trusted group of colleagues. Getting support encouraged her to pursue her true priorities and interests.
“My mentors set me up on the path — they advocated for me and helped me craft my vision,” Vatora says.
Q: How do I make sure I’m doing what I want but still adding value to my company?
A: The experts at MaRS recommend connecting your new job description to the possible company progress that could come from each endeavor.
You might consider adding a “what this means for the company” prompt below each line item in your new job description.
- Line item: Build relationships with ice cream distributors in untapped rural markets.
- What this means for the company: A potential, long-term boost in overall market share.
Q: How can I make sure I’m going above and beyond?
A: Career Coach Cassandra Williams has a great answer for this one:
“Think about what’s needed but keeps getting placed on the back burner because no one seems to have time to get it done,” she says. “Ask your manager what keeps them up at night.”
TOGETHER WITH GROUPTOGETHER
Is it Mike’s Last Week?
Need to organize a farewell, retirement or maternity gift and card from the whole team?
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GET MORE SH*T DONE
A simple equation for estimating task time
It’s a challenge as old as time: How do I estimate how long a project or task will truly take?
A little bit of math might actually help with this.
If you’re grappling with time estimates, try a three-point estimation equation. Here’s how:
- Estimate your ideal delivery time.
- Estimate your realistic delivery time.
- Estimate your worst delivery time. (Think: how long will this take if everything that could go wrong does go wrong?)
- Add up these three estimates and divide by three to get a healthy average, a.k.a. realistic time estimate for the task at hand.
TOGETHER WITH MIRO
Don’t start from scratch — use a template
Are you tired of staring at a blank canvas when it comes to your team’s collaboration and brainstorming?
Look no further than Miro!
With a wide variety of templates, you’ll have everything you need to jumpstart your next project. From mind maps to team meeting agenda templates, Miro has it all. Plus, its intuitive interface makes it easy for even the most technologically challenged team members to use.
Some of our fave templates:
- Meeting Agenda Template
- Daily Standup Meeting Template
- Pros & Cons List Template
- To-Do List Template
- Stickies Packs Template
- Emotions Wheel Icebreaker Template
See all of Miro’s free templates
Handy problem-solving methodologies
Got a problem? Don’t worry! Don’t overthink! Turn to one of these tried-and-true problem-solving methodologies.
Methodology: The Six Thinking Hats
Underlying philosophy: You can more effectively assess a problem from multiple angles by doing a little role playing. Pretend to put on different hats, each which symbolizes a different thinking modality. Consider your problem through only that modality before moving on to the next hat.
Basic how to:
- White Hat: Focus on facts and empirical evidence
- Yellow Hat: Unleash pure optimism
- Black Hat: What could go wrong?
- Red Hat: Listen to intuition and feelings
- Green Hat: Get creative. Let your ideas (for other possibilities and angles) run wild
- Blue Hat: Check in to make sure you appropriately followed the six-hat thinking process
Methodology: Toyota’s 8 Step Problem Solving Strategy
Underlying philosophy: Any problem can be solved if you take it apart and analyze its component parts.
Basic how to:
- What exactly is the problem? (Define it so you could easily explain it to your family during dinner.)
- Break the problem into all its components. (For example: The problem of low team engagement might consist of many subproblems: boring meetings, no opportunities to socialize, or unclear division of responsibilities.)
- Set a deadline for delivering a solution. (No problem will ever be solved if you never choose and pursue a solution, even an imperfect one.)
- Consider the root causes of this problem.
- Develop countermeasures designed to mitigate the root causes of your problem.
- Execute the countermeasures.
- Monitor your progress.
- If solutions prove successful, document them for standardization and widespread adoption.
Methodology: The 5 Whys
Underlying philosophy: You can develop solutions to any problem by first gaining a deeper and multifaceted understanding of said problem.
Basic how to:
- Write down your problem statement
- Write “why?” below the statement five times
- Write down an answer below each “why?”
- Repeat until you’ve reached the root cause of the problem
February is Black History Month
The theme for 2023 is Black Resistance and recognizes, as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History says, how “black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all.”
Here’s a roundup of celebration resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture:
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NEW & NOTEWORTHY
💻 Trying to keep remote work fun? Check out these ideas.
🗓️ It’s Black History Month! Here’s activities you can do with your team.
🏪 The Assist Store: Check out our Black History Month Pictionary and browse our Etsy Store.
🔖 Catch up on all OG Tuesday newsletters here.
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SPILL THE TEA
Hooray, You Made It to the End of Our Newsletter!
Riddle me this: It was an especially hot day and a man was walking in the desert. In the distance, the man suddenly saw a restaurant. He rejoiced, ran to it, and immediately asked the waiter for a glass of water. Instead, the waiter pulled out a gun and pointed it at the man’s head. The man replied with, “thank you.” Why did the man thank the waiter?
⭐ Answer here.
👉 Here’s all of January’s OG Tuesday Riddles.