Starting a new job is like beginning to walk. You wobble to your feet and stand, swaying for a few minutes. You do that several times before you take your very first step. If you are lucky, someone has the time to help you maintain your balance during this period. After you get used to the process of walking (or your new job), you move slowly for a while. Never try to run at this point, just walk. Get used to walking, most people will understand.
It’s the same with a new job. People understand that you are just learning the ropes and that you need a little time to get going properly. The people who don’t usually are not the people who matter. That is not always the case, but more often than not, the people who expect you to perform perfectly right out of the gate, are not perfect themselves. There’s one in every workplace. Some of them only seem to be intolerant. They have been doing this for many years and have likely forgotten what it was like to be new.
Just take your new job one day at a time. That’s trite advice, but good nonetheless. That’s even good advice for life. Take it one day at a time. After all, you can’t change the past and the future depends on today. You can’t live in either, only in the present. So take it easy and learn what you can. Write things down, that’s we invented writing for, to keep knowledge.
That’s not to say that after the first week, you shouldn’t attempt to do the routine, basic things on your own, you should. Never stop asking questions either. That’s the only way to learn things that you might need to learn. People are often happy to share their knowledge, unless they are in competition with you for the job, then they might not be so happy. My new job is taking over from someone who was promoted. She is busy, so I try not to bother her too much, but I often need to ask her questions. I will probably always have to ask her questions, but that is part of the learning process. I need to start writing my work tasks down and organizing them a little. If I can get into a routine, I will be doing well. It is normal to feel overwhelmed during your first few weeks on a new job. Relax and accept it. The feeling will pass.
Accept that you will probably not be able to master your job in the first two weeks. It will probably take a little longer before you can say that you are confident in your job. Take as much time as your job will allow and learn to do the job correctly. If you feel pressured to perform as though you have been doing that work forever, don’t let it throw you. Remind the person that you are still learning and try to pick up your speed, which is usually the problem. If you are uncertain about anything, ask questions. It’s the only way to get what you need.
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