If you’ve been unemployed or unhappy in your work for some time, you’ve most likely been concentrating your energy on getting a new job.
It can come as something of a shock, then, when you start that new job and find yourself feeling a little off-balance.
Don’t be alarmed – you’re probably just feeling the effects of the job learning curve. No matter how well qualified you are, and how terrific the match is between you and your new employer, it’s going to take a while to get used to your new environment.
Here are some of the feelings you may well be experiencing:
Excitement – You’re full of enthusiasm, and can’t wait to get started on your new responsibilities. It’s like the first day of school, only with a paycheck and clothes you won’t outgrow so quickly.
Confusion – You’re supposed to do what by when, and fill out what form and go where? Even in well-run organizations, it’s hard to process all the information coming at you. My suggestion? Take notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your new colleagues are bound to give you some slack.
Panic – It feels like it’s all too much. You can’t seem to find your footing and you fear you never will. But that’s probably not the case. Give yourself time to get used to your new position and be reasonable about your expectations. By the way, just to make sure this job works out well for a long time, make sure you and your new supervisors are in agreement about those reasonable expectations.
One Rung Up – Maybe it’s simply filling out your time sheet, or responding to a routine call, but you feel you know how to do at least one thing well, and right. Pat yourself on the back. There’ll soon be more.
What Lies Beneath – This is when you become aware of the internal politics where you work. Every place has it. You don’t have to be drawn in, but pay attention to lines of power, friendship and enmity. You don’t want to cross them unaware.
Knowing & Working with the Flow – This applies to everything from knowing when things get busy to knowing how to move your projects along through the system. Basically, it means you’ve learned how things work at your new job, and you’re able to work within those outlines.
Keep Mixing It Up – Now that you’ve gotten comfortable in your new job, make sure you don’t get too comfortable. Keep looking for new challenges and find ways to venture outside of your comfort zone. It will keep your learning curve moving on up!
by Danielle Dresden