One of the hardest things in the world to me is starting a new job. Not only is it stressful trying to learn the work itself, but making new friends and getting to know the “office politics” can make you feel isolated for quite some time. In fact, many people tend to stick with their old jobs for those very reasons even if they’re not happy with them. Having to get used to a new work environment takes you completely out of your comfort zone, and it’s not easy for everyone to get past that stage to where the rewards may lie.
There are several things that can make the job transition a little easier. If you’re just starting a new job, or are thinking of starting one but can’t quite come to terms with the prospect of that “new job” discomfort, try some of these strategies to help things go smoother for you.
1.Remember that we all have to start somewhere – When it comes to learning your new job, no one goes into it with enough know how to make management the first day. That’s what the learning process is for. Keep in mind that all of the people who know seem so at ease at this workplace were once like you…a bit scared and totally lost on the way things work. Know that down the road, you’ll be the one to know what’s going on and those just coming in will stand where you’re standing right now.
2.Take notes – During the learning phase of a new job, information coming at you can be truly overwhelming. Don’t hesitate to bring along a memo pad and pen and let your trainer know that taking notes will help you learn everything quicker. Freehand them at first and go back later and type them up in more detail for review. Going over certain processes in your mind a few times will you familiarize you with the job in no time.
3.Be yourself…with discretion – One cool thing about starting a new job is that you’re given a small chance to reinvent yourself. Did you get the reputation of being the office gossip at your last job? Now’s your chance to play it a little low key. If you shied away from social interaction before, now you can step up a bit and make an effort to be more interactive. You can let your own natural personality shine through in effect, but take the opportunity to feel out the office first and find your niche. You might not find it right away, but with the right attitude, everyone will eventually begin to accept the genuine personality that you let show.
4.Don’t be afraid of mistakes – A personal problem that I’ve had to overcome when starting a new job is the fear of making mistakes. In essence, it’s a silly fear, since you’re not going to start something new without making a few here and there. Being afraid to mess up will hold you back from trying, and eventually learning, different aspects of your job. Jump in and try to learn as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to take a few chances, especially if the can be easily fixed. If you’re unsure, finish something and then ask someone who’s been there longer, or even your boss, for some feedback and a double check that you did everything right. Employers know that you’re new and they don’t expect you to be perfect. Being brave and attempting to learn new things will make a good impression.
Overall, keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere and that you’re not being judged because you’re trying to learn. There’s a good chance that within a few short weeks, you’ll not only know more about your job but that you’ll be making friends and establishing yourself in the office as well.