Occasionally, a select few lucky corporate employees can expect to be gently guided into their new position through a step-by-step training plan designed to effortlessly transition them into their job. What most people actually receive, however, is a brief initiation and a hard push into a foreign land where you learn what you can and do your best to tread water until you can come to grips with your new environment. This is obviously not the most efficient way to do things but it is the norm in most workplaces. Learning to survive in a new workplace isn’t easy, but with the help of the following tips, you can help make the transition as painless as possible.
Step one is to make as many friends as possible as quickly as you can. When you lack a mentor or an official trainer, your only resource available to answer questions is your coterie of sympathetic co-workers who are willing to step up and help you get settled. The more friendly conversations you can initiate from the moment you walk in the door the better, because you are going to need the expertise of those who have been performing the same tasks regularly. However, no one individual will be able to meet all of your training needs; so, it is worth the effort to develop a network of teammates so that you can distribute your queries across many different people.
It’s great to have a friendly team of helpful coworkers on your side, but a true commitment to success will require additional personal effort. Depending on your position, there are many ways to ease the initial learning curve. For example, if your job requires the memorization of detailed processes take notes and make some study time to familiarize yourself with common rules and procedures. Get to work a little earlier and stay a little later so that you have some free time to decipher your new job in the absence of other distractions.
Instead of waiting to be acknowledged by your boss and asked if you are in need of anything, be proactive and approach him or her yourself. Asking your new boss for help can be intimidating but it makes a better impression if you approach your boss for assistance rather than let your productivity and efficiency suffer. No matter how busy your boss may be, he or she wants you to succeed and so will provide you with the needed resources to make sure you have ever opportunity to do so.
Finally, new jobs are not for the timid. No matter how ill informed or unprepared you may feel during your freshman days at your new employer, you have to find the courage to jump in and take your bruises in order to work your way to a clear understanding of your job. Waiting around for instructions will only lead to delayed learning and a potentially damaged reputation. Though you may not perform your tasks perfectly at first, jumping head first into uncharted territory will go much further to impress your team than simply waiting for instructions.
Being stressed out during your first weeks at a new job is normal. But fighting through that stress in order to clearly define what you are supposed to do and how you are supposed to do it will help boost your confidence, confirm your professionalism, and probably end up being less painful in the end than you ever expected.