7 Apr 2013

What to ask Employer - Part 3 - New role / team / division

(This is among an n-Part series detailing the pitfalls when selecting an employer, and provides very basic information that you should inquire when joining a company. Click here, to read from the beginning.)

'Is this a new role / team / division?' is a question should invariably figure in all interviews. To different scenarios, the question could mean any (or all) of the following:

New Role

Having a 'New role' in a new company generally means that the work profile for this position isn't already cut out. In most probability this'd mean some frustrating hours for those workaholics, who find it unnerving to 'just browse the net' when on the job. This also means that if you're looking for 'idle' time, the initial few days / weeks might be just that. What this may also mean is that once work starts to trickle in, you're possibly looking at a 'lot' of work. Now that generally happens because new profiles generally mean that all teams that can possibly outsource work to this 'profile' send-it-all-in © as soon as possible. It also may mean possible confusion knowing who to take work from, who to report to (and who all report to you, work-wise or structure-wise).

New Team

New team generally means you're going to be working in a team that hasn't much of history to bank upon. The tools to use, the reporting, the work, the deliverables mostly all are in the air. To put it short, its probably going to be all the issues surrounding a 'New Role' compounded by interaction related confusions.

At times, this also brings in serious confusions about reportees. I've interacted with teams who were completely sure about who their new reporting managers were, but at the same time, they were completely unsure why all this was so. So although 'functionally' you are reporting to a person in the foreign country, you may be officially reporting to someone in your office. Personally, I have no idea what that means, in the sense that although I understand why this is done (essentially avoid a jay-walker in their new-joinee list), but I am not sure if this is the best solution for it.

New Division

Critical 'screw-ups' during a 'New Division' is the rare and therefore the least known about. Most 'New Divisions' don't start with a 'big-bang', however, they still almost always are clue-less about what to do about that 'comma'. What I mean by that metaphor, is that although they know who the migration manager is, without a peer-on-the-next-seat to ask (very) basic questions, there are a thousand tid-bits that they don't know who to ask from. This confused lot sadly under-performs for no fault of theirs. Basically, unless really looked after, a new division is a tough job, even if your domain isn't the main cause of the under-performance. 

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