I've got a new job and it's very exciting; it's been a while since I've been in a position where I didn't know what I was doing. I am finding it exhilarating!
Day four and what I've most noticed is... that while I may not understand the nuance and tasks associated with the business and the job, the skillset I have is exactly the right fit for the job. Too often we get caught in the details, worrying that the specifics are missing. It is really the big picture into which we need to fit; everything else falls into place with time and experience.
Actually, I did the very thing I coach others to never do. As the job was described to me, I said "Hey, I know some great folks to send you who will be terrific!"
"Why not you?" I was asked.
"Oh no... I could only do a third of the job competently," I replied.
Even the mentors forget their training occasionally.
Am I immediately useful to my new manager? Yes. Because I understand the critical thinking necessary for success in delivering what he wants. So I can ask good questions even if I don't have access or understanding of the specifics yet. Risk, controls, cost, people, behaviours, etc. are all still valid questions. In answering these questions, the entire teams drives to a deeper and stronger solution.
I might not be able to propose solutions at this point but I certainly can contribute thoughtful questions. That's a habit to keep, new in the job or not.