3 Top Tips for Starting a New Job

With a new job comes mixed emotions; feelings of nervousness, excitement, apprehension, self-doubt, new beginnings, hope, the list goes on. It’s completely normal to feel all these emotions and more – after all this is the next big step in your career.  So how can you step into your new role and set yourself up for success?

Here are my top 3 tips for ensuring you have a strong start in your new job:

1. Take it one day at a time

Starting a new role comes with many new changes and challenges, such as a change in environment, different responsibilities, new team members and new expectations. Understandably, it can be overwhelming to go from knowing everyone and everything, to a place where you are the new person and to some extent starting from a blank slate. This might make you feel like you want to go back to the old and familiar.

It’s so easy to fixate on what you have ahead of you to learn and accomplish in order to add value in your new role. Be realistic with your expectations, adjusting to a new job can take anything from three to six months, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t feel settled in right away. Take each day as it comes, focus on learning the ropes and gaining an understanding of your new surroundings. A way to do this could be setting yourself small achievable milestones that focus on what I am going to achieve today, this week or this month. Doing this will help to visualise the progress you’ve made and see how far you’ve come, easing the transition process. When you do this, your set milestones seem more achievable. It’s important to celebrate the small wins and recognise the hard work that goes into learning a new piece of information, task, process, system or whatever it may be.

2. Listen and learn

The first few days and weeks are a steep learning curve with information coming at you in all directions – from where you find the leave form to how you access company files. It is important to try and prioritise your learning, as there will be a lot to take in when you start. My advice is to first try and focus on understanding the business, who the key people are and what your day-to-day role will look like. I find taking notes is a great way to remember key bits of information and keep track of what you have learnt and any aspects of the role you want to learn more about.

Be prepared to ask a lot of questions. You might find it uncomfortable to be constantly asking question after question, but this is the only way to make sure you are all over the basics. Remember you’re not expected to know everything from the get-go. People will expect you to have a lot of questions, and maybe even the same question more than once. It is better to ask a lot in the beginning to make sure you’re getting things right from day one, than to work away being unsure of what you’re doing. Having a thorough understanding of expectations will help you settle in quickly.

3. Stay positive

There’s no doubt you will face frustrations and make mistakes in a new job. They come hand in hand with learning something new for the first time. Facing them with a positive and patient attitude is the best approach, which we all know is easier said than done.

Should you find yourself getting frustrated or stressed over trying to wrap your head around a new task, process or system, always remember, you can take a step back and have a quick break before coming back to it with fresh eyes. Be kind to yourself and stay positive in this phase of learning because before you know it, you’ll have mastered this challenge.

For me, knowing I can step back and go for a walk, whether it be a quick lap of the office or around the block, allows me to clear my mind before coming back to the task at hand.

Remember, settling into a new job takes time and it is only natural to feel an array of mixed emotions, but being new is only temporary. Be patient, stay positive and ask lots of questions. There are a lot of valuable tips and pieces of advice out there to help someone when starting a new job. I’d love to hear what your approach is and what has worked for you in helping to get through the first day, week or month, and set you up for success in your new role.

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