I’ve found that it takes me about a year to really get settled into a new organization. I just had my performance review and it was really refreshing to acknowledge that we have found a good working pattern. It takes time to feel comfortable in any job. Regardless of where you work, developing relationships is the most important step to settling in. Take time to understand how to work with your boss and co-workers.
Have open communication with your boss about the projects that you are working on and their expectations of you. I’ve found you learn more from nonverbal cues than you ever do from verbal. Watch carefully how your work is received by other co-workers. If you continually find something is not working don’t be afraid to ask some questions and try a different strategy.
Wherever you work it takes time to get to know the donors. Each organization has its own particular kind of donors and volunteers. These relationships take time to build and it is important that recognized and understand what makes them valuable and unique. Your first year of interactions are often the times where you are tested the very most. They want to see how responsive you are and if you’re really listening to them. If you tell them you’ll follow up with them do it.
Get to know your key volunteers and work to understand what they do for the organization. I’m not talking about the “official” tasks but the unspoken ones of which they are the most proud. Watch for cues on how they want you to engage with them. Some volunteers want a little pampering and others want you to super responsive.