It’s normal to feel anxious when starting a new job whether you’re entering this wonderful thing called “real life” or simply transitioning into a fresh role. Along with that, there’s a natural discomfort associated with completing a task you’ve been assigned when you’ve only seen it once – there’s that voice in the back of your head asking “Is this right? I can’t remember, should I ask again?”
After going through several roles in a rather short timeframe, I can assure you that the anxiety always exists when you’re new to something. However, I’ve picked up a few useful lessons that have helped me long the way that I’d like to share:
1. Write everything down.
When starting out, you’re just a sponge absorbing as much as you can and there are so many things going on, so much information, so much assumptions that you’re bound to forget. Therefore, just write everything down in a way you’ll understand if you need to refer back to it in a month because it’s guaranteed to come back up. This is the one thing that has never failed me.
2. Just ask.
If you’ve failed to take your notes (or they just don’t make sense as you’re referring back to them), find a resource you can trust or just ask again – it’s better than doing it wrong. Sure, your boss or whomever you’re asking might be annoyed, but now’s not the time to worry about that. However, don’t make it a habit – being on both sides of the fence, I can honestly say that constantly asking the same question gets annoying.
3. Be proactive.
Albeit the fact that you’re uncomfortable, volunteer to take on tasks – it’s the perfect opportunity for exposure to management and other people within the company. People might forget about you because you’re new so proactively ask what kind of help you can offer and create a routine for yourself.
4. Slow down.
I like to think of myself as a quick learner, but one of the most important lessons I learned early on is that slower is better. When I think of all the mistakes I’ve made in the roles I’ve held, the majority of them can be attributed to wanting and trying to work fast that I overlooked important details, ultimately resulting in a mistake. Remember that fast and faulty helps no one.
5. Always have a vision.
Sure, you might not know what you want to do in the next five years or which career path you’ll head down so instead, focus on becoming self-aware. This means that as you’re completing your job duties, think about the activities that you take interest in and the tasks that play up your strengths – where can that take you? Engage with people in different roles and on different levels and see if there’s anything you might have in common with them. Also, ask your manager what they think about you and where they see you being successful (of course you should wait at least a month to have this conversation). These things will help give you a vision of the pursuits you should focus on in order to reach your final destination.
Image Source Credits – Fashion Gone Rogue