I was very nervous the first time I got a file. I didn’t even know what a file was or what I was supposed to do with it. I looked at it for a while and got really nervous until I finally worked up the courage to ask someone for help. “Oh just look at last year’s file and do what they did.” That’s what I was told.
This is an awful experience. You sit around feeling like an idiot, looking at a bunch of papers that make little to no sense. It’s like trying to write an essay from another person’s rough notes; written a year ago. It’s close to impossible when you don’t understand what you are looking at.
This makes having a “go-to” person key. Someone who’s been around the office for a few years, knows the ropes and doesn’t mind walking you through a file. Having people like that to depend on has saved me hours of frustration. More importantly, it’s saved me from looking like a complete idiot in front of a partner, which is much more valuable.