What to Do When Starting a New

• Be happy to be there, because even though it probably won't feel like it, this is the first step (or a continuation) of your journey, and you're on your way.

• Introduce yourself to everyone. Shake hands and make eye contact.

• Make sure you have keys to the building and office and all necessary security codes.

• Learn who everyone is. Memorize staff, cast, crew and vendor lists.

• Read the script, office manual and anything else you can get your hands on to familiarize yourself with the project you're working on, the company you're working for and the people you're working with.

• Become a sponge! Pay attention to everything going on around you, and soak up whatever you can. Get the lingo down, the procedures and the routines. Take notice of where the power lies and who's really doing what. You may not be in the rooms where the deals or decisions are being made, but you'll overhear phone calls, pick up on bits of conversations throughout the office and by the coffee machine and get a glance at incoming memos hot off the fax machine. Take notes, read anything you can get your hands on, ask questions, be observant and just absorb as much as you can. It's all around you for the taking, as long as your radar is up.

• Ask about preferences (how should you be answering the phone, how does your boss like certain things arranged or handled, what sort of snacks does she prefer, etc.).

• If you are going to be sent on errands (or "runs" as they're more commonly referred to), find out the places you'll be going to the most, and make sure you know how to get there.

• Get used to going everywhere with a note pad and pen. If your boss calls you into his office, make sure you're always prepared to take notes. Get used to writing down anything you need to remember, to do, to save or to track.

• Learn how to use the phone system and office machines (copier, fax, network printers and preferred computer software), as well as the office-issued cell phones and pagers.

• Learn office/mailroom/set/studio protocol and get a sense of the prevailing politics as soon as possible.

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