I was excited to receive a request for a post on how to deal with starting out a new job and being successful on it. It was particularly of interest to me because I just recently resumed at a new job and I could very well relate.
Also, in the last 2 years, I have had reasons to resume at a new job often, not because I wanted to, but because of circumstances beyond my control.
The reasons are as follows:
- I relocated to Canada
- I had to school full-time, this meant that I had to work at a job flexible enough to fit with my schedule
- My entire career transition (which is now complete) meant that I had to find a job within the areas of my interest. I am presently exploring career possibilities that will help grow my career.
To understand better, read this post: Have you ever quit your job without having another one lined up?
From the foregoing, you’d agree with me that I have some insight on this topic, so I’m excited to clear out areas of this topic based on my experience so far. Even at that, bear in mind that no two jobs are the same, company processes differ, and the feeling in a new environment will always be different.
Deciding to start a new job is a very big and exciting decision. The first day on the job will determine how your experience with the company will turn out and how well you’ll be able to manage events. But don’t fret!
These tips will help you handle those first few weeks at a new job.
1. See yourself as a student
Even if you’ve worked in several companies within the same industry, everything will feel so surreal or unique. See yourself as a student willing to learn.
Ask questions no matter how stupid, but don’t end there, go ahead to research on the topic and you’d understand better. Asking questions help clear out doubts. Remember that you are in a new organization and it most likely can’t be the same as your previous workplace.
2. You will feel overwhelmed on your first day but you’ll overcome it
This one is so damn real. Every first day at a new job usually feels so confusing for me. The first-day orientation alone could be enough to confuse or give you a headache; you are left questioning yourself as to whether you can deliver on the job. It’s okay, you’ll be just fine with time.
I thought I was the only person who had this issue until I spoke to some colleagues, and they completely and genuinely agreed with me. It takes a while to absorb a new company’s processes and depending on how large the company is, you may feel so overwhelmed. With time, however, you’ll be a guru. You just need a little more patience.
If you couldn’t deliver, you’d never have been hired in the first place. So calm down and go along with the first point above.
Once you are willing to learn, every other thing will be secondary because you’ll keep getting better with time. Willingness to learn equally means that you are doing good research, reading more, working hard, and not just waiting to be spoon fed by whoever is supposed to train you.
As someone rightly pointed out to me some time ago, to be successful in any job, you will have to learn on the job. Once you are comfortable with a position and know all that your job entails, then you are due for a promotion.
Most people complain about their jobs because there aren’t challenges to face and no learning opportunities whatsoever. This isn’t you, so chin up!
3. Keep reading previous reports/ documents
Go over old documents in the company and familiarize yourself with terms, acronyms, the company’s clients, and how it carries out its business. Reviewing old files give you some background on what to expect in your new role.
This also helps you familiarize yourself with where information is stored or filed (hard or soft copies).
4. Every day, write out something new you need to learn
This is what someone shared with me, and I’m spilling it here because it works magic!
Every day as you go about your tasks at work, you may come across something you aren’t sure about or not used to. That’s totally fine. Just write it out on your to-do list, go home and try to read up lightly on it. This will give you a better context and help you have a broader idea.
When you learn something yourself, you’ll never forget it in life when it comes up at a later date. No matter how small the task is, make it a habit of writing out something new to learn every day. You’d be glad you did so.
5. Prepare process guides (if your company doesn’t have one)
Depending on what your job entails, there may be some tasks that are not well detailed. It could also be that the task is complicated. What you can do is to prepare a process guide that thoroughly details how to go about handling such issues. This will reduce the number of times you would have to ask for help on the same issue.
Some companies already have process guides in place, so this may not be an issue. But if the reverse is the case, endeavor to prepare one for yourself. You can even go ahead to present it to your manager, he/she will appreciate it and this will improve your value to the company.
6. Consider asking questions in written form
To avoid asking the same question over and over again. When you need solutions or help, send out an email to the appropriate person. The reason is this: you would have the answer written and you can always refer to it in future.
The problem with making phone calls to the appropriate person is that information may be lost at some point or you may forget what was explained.
Remember, you are in a new job and there are high expectations. So, minimalizing how frequent you loose information is really important. I suggest you ask for clarifications through emails.
7. Set expectations with your new boss/ employees
It’s important that from your first week, you set up a meeting with your boss or employees (if you are in a managerial position) to discuss on objectives and goals for your role. This will help make communication more effective since you are in a better position to be prepared.
8. Start demonstrating what you promised at the interview
At the interview stage, you probably sold on some ideas to the company. Now is the time to live up to it and put in good work. Demonstrate and keep track of all your activities. Ensure that you fulfill all that you promised during the interview. It’ll keep you in shape for your role and would help you get a raise or promotion in due time.
Also, make it a habit to be more organized on the job because at this stage you would be getting a lot of information and you want to ensure that you are not leaving anything out. So try to get organized from the start so that you will keep going with that attitude.
I am also of the opinion that you should make it a habit of taking down notes when starting a new job. It’s always good for reference. So have a notepad and pen handy!
If you started out a new job recently, do you have other tips to share?
Remember, don’t compare your new job to your last one. Try to embrace this change and shine through! I hope these points raised have answered any questions you may have on your new job. If you need more clarification, please don’t hesitate to send me an email: [email protected] or use the Contact page
I’ve been glad about the positive response I’ve been receiving from you all. Thank you so much. Be rest assured that every message you send to me related to personal work-life challenges is strictly confidential.
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