When you start a new job, it’s easy to feel nervous about what may lie ahead. Between new responsibilities and new colleagues in an unfamiliar environment, it’s natural to want to prove that you belong. While you may want to hit the ground running in order to show that you are a capable employee, you’ll likely have to deal with a learning curve that comes with any new job. Throughout the uncertainty, follow these steps in order to learn as quickly as you can in your new role:
While the most motivated professionals are itching to dive into the work, keep in mind that this may not be the case as you enter the office on day one. When you start a new job, it can often take days or even weeks to feel like you’re really immersed in your job responsibilities. Even though you may not be excited to take it slow and sit through some training sessions, this is a good opportunity to learn more about the company and your position. When you absorb as much information as possible in your first days instead of fervently trying to dive into work, learning more early on can pay off later.
In your first days at work, you may be siloed into a group, either with your team or other people you’re training with. However, whenever you get a chance, it’s important to chat with other people outside of these groups who can help you learn more about the organization as a whole. Not only is this important in order to incorporate yourself into the culture, but you’ll be able to gain a bigger picture of the company and how your role fits into it.
When you feel like you have to prove your abilities to yourself and to a team, it can feel defeating when you don’t know how to approach a situation. While it is important to try to solve the problem on your own, be sure that you don’t sacrifice this learning experience for your own personal pride—especially if it’s at the expense of your productivity. Don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something you don’t know; humility and willingness to learn are more admirable than self-glorification.
Whether your role is demanding or not, spending some extra time outside of work to learn about your industry, the organization itself, and your team’s long-term goals can be extremely beneficial. You may not have enough time during the workday to learn everything and stay up to speed with your responsibilities, so it may take more effort from you in the beginning. Depending on the role, this could mean coming in fifteen minutes early to do some light reading, or it could mean “homework” in order to be ready for the next day. While getting up to speed can be challenging, it may make your workload lighter in the long run.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of your role, be sure that you don’t get too comfortable. While you may be able to perform your responsibilities after a few weeks, staying on your A-game will show your commitment and perhaps increase your chances of a promotion down the line. As you continue learning and addressing long-term goals, you can move up faster than if you take a backseat.
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