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To provide you with a background, I just joined a company in the Finance team exactly a month back. Just after 2 weeks of joining we started remotely working due to the situation with COVID-19. Ever since then, we have been having daily catch-up calls with the FD for around 15-20mins, to help him understand how the work is moving.

As all the others on the call (a group of 10) are experienced staff, they have things to contribute and provide updates about on the call. However, as I have just started recently I am being kept occupied by small simple tasks. So when it's my turn to talk, I usually just say that 'Everything's going great, and I have work to keep me occupied for now'.

Initially I felt it was fine to say this, but as days passed I felt that no one now expects me to say anything else and I feel like I'm being considered as the quiet one. I am just concerned that considering these are my initial days in the company, I don't want to create that kind of an image. Please help! Is there anything else I can talk about or mention? Or is it fine to just continue saying the same?

  • Do you have a mentor who is assigned to show you the ropes? – LokiRagnarok Apr 7 at 7:55
  • I don't have a mentor as such, however I have another colleague who is very helpful and helps me with my day to day work related questions. – Samantha Apr 7 at 9:14
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    What exactly does FD stand for? – Donald Apr 7 at 12:04
  • @Donald I surmise to be finance director – Anthony Apr 7 at 21:16
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Talk about the specific small tasks you've been working on. You don't need to (and shouldn't) go into much detail, but "I've been entering the financial data for the previous month into our reporting system, and it's all going smoothly" or something similar about whatever you've actually been doing is good.

This will give your team confidence that you're working on what they expect you to be working on, and it should be clear to them that you don't have anything else you need to say.

If you're worried that you need to improve your image, you can ask at the end of your update whether there's anything you can do to help anyone else in the team (assuming you have the time capacity to do that, of course).

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In scrum, during the daily stand up you answer 3 questions.

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What do you plan to do today?
  • Is there anything that will prevent you achieving today's goal?

I know you are not doing scrum (and may not know/care what it is) but those 3 questions probably provide a reasonable template for what your contribution could be.

As a new member of the team, the 3rd question may be particularly relevant to you. Presumably you need to understand their working processes, the software used, the market space the company operates in etc. You might say "I plan to do X but I'll need a little help to understand how to do Y in our Z system".

Finally, while it will be difficult to ramp up when working remotely, you should make an effort to let your manager and teammates know that you are keen to take on more responsibility and contribute to the team. Ask what else you can take on or arrange to sit/screen share with somebody while they do a particular task so you can learn it too.

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Hopefully you have a list of the tasks you're working on? Ideally prioritized by your line manager and have picked or been assigned the most urgent/important to work on (or failing that, as you're new, ones within your capabilities).

Your update should be a very brief list of what you did yesterday and what you're doing today. Make sure you state anything you have finished ("I completed the month end report and emailed it to Bob in marketing"). Mention anything you're having problems with or that is blocking you from getting work done ("Still waiting on March figures from Alice").

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While it's expected of a new joiner to take time to understand the work process and get accustomed to the workflow, it also depends on the person's grasping and adapting power. If you feel you've got a hang of the process and need to know more about the roles and responsibilities expected out of you - simply ask what new areas you can explore and how you can be of help.

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