My six tips for your first Department Head role on Ten Forward Lounge

So you're fairly new to the club and you're nervous about becoming a Department Head for the first time. Maybe you just got promoted to such a position. Or maybe you're still in the Academy, thinking that you may have a chance to give it a try sometime soon.

Not too long ago I (Adam W.) was promoted to be a Department Head for the first time when I graduated from the Academy. I thought I could do it alright, but I was still a bit uneasy going into the role because it meant I'd be responsible to do things I hadn't yet done.

Here's my six tips to keep in mind for first time Department Heads:

-Read through the Department Head Command Course, found here http://www.star-fleet.com/library/bookshelf/textbook/textbook-command-dh... It's always wise to read through the Academy Course when you're starting to do a new position to get on the same page as everyone else in the club about what the responsibilities of that role are.

-Remember to have fun. I was given my first DH position by my captain in the Academy, Lindsay Bayes. Of all of the things she told me when I got the new position, this was the most helpful. I had been worried about making sure I was going to do everything right. And wondering how to do the aspects of the role I hadn't done before. The point of the site is to have some fun writing with other people. If you're having a good time with the writing that you're doing, so will those underneath your command that you're interacting with.

-Pay attention to those in your department and make sure they have things to do. You'll be the main person responsible for seeing that the junior officers have a chance to be active on the ship. Find a way to get them involved in the main sim. Or start a side sim.

-Delegate. The Department Head is responsible for carrying out the orders of the captain and first officer. But that doesn't mean you need to do that yourself. Passing along orders to those under you is a great way to keep them involved.

-It always helps to read other threads that could be similar to yours if you are unsure what to write. Getting inspired or taking an idea from a more experienced player is not all that bad, but obviously try not to copy them directly.

-Ask for help. Maybe you'll quickly realize you're over your head and don't have the technical knowledge to write a quality post. Or you're unsure of something that's going on in the main sim. Or you're at a loss as to how best keep the junior officers involved. Never be afraid to ask for advice from someone more experienced than you are. There are many people here who really enjoy being helpful and have the ability to do so. You don't have to struggle to figure it out on your own. There are many members eager to answer any questions and chat in our IRC channel ( http://www.star-fleet.com/id/irc/ ).

Adam W.

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