Tuesday, January 26, 2016
New Staff Bring New Life to All Our Work
I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with several new staff members in Family Development over the past couple weeks. As I meet and get to know them, I wonder what they are thinking and how they are feeling in their new positions. Do they have a clear understanding of their new job? Are they finding Extension to be a welcoming workplace? What kinds of things are they telling their families about their new jobs when they go home at the end of the day?
I remember that when I first started in Extension about 15 years ago, I was met with kindness and support by my new colleagues and leadership. I was impressed by the investment of the organization in technology for effectiveness and productivity. And, I admit, I was confused about the structure of Extension: I worked in a county office, had responsibilities for a program that spanned five counties that was managed by leadership on the Twin Cities campus, while my supervisor was housed about 90 miles away on the Duluth campus!
I also remember the feeling of learning the responsibilities of the position. I realized that not only did I have the capability of doing the job well, but I also could take advantage of the opportunities I saw to add value and make improvements using the skills and experience I brought with me.
Those of us who have been around Extension for a while can draw great benefit from our new colleagues. We learn that there are many ways to do the work, and many ways to do the work better! Our new colleagues are a terrific reminder and motivator to always consider our work through new lenses, and not be afraid to try a new approach to see if we can add value, efficiency, and effectiveness. It’s so important for us to create a warm and welcoming environment for our new staff so they feel comfortable sharing their skills and experience with us, so we all can benefit from the unique skills and experience they bring to Extension.
And speaking of “new,” I encourage you all to keep an eye on the Extension employment web page for Family Development positions. It is extremely gratifying when our own Family Development staff take the opportunity to move into different positions within the center to use their skills and experience in new ways. For example, we are currently hiring a Local Extension Educator for Anoka County, and an Evaluation Support Specialist for our Research and Evaluation team. Please consider these and other positions as they become available!