5 Challenges of Starting a New Job
The challenges of starting a new job can be daunting, but they don’t have to be. Recognizing and preparing for them in advance can help you reduce your stress and feel at ease in the new role. To help you feel better prepared for your new gig, we decided to help you navigate the Top 5 Challenges of Starting a New Job.
Top 5 Challenges of Starting a New Job
Anna Marie Russel, a program coordinator with AmeriCorps, writes that “the early days are when your boss and colleagues form the most lasting impressions about you.” In your first week, trying to look the part while learning as much as possible can be a struggle, but how you handle those challenges will set the tone for your workplace reputation.
What to do:
Feeling good is just as important as looking good on the first day. A solid night’s rest and a professional, but comfortable outfit can help you feel more comfortable and ready to make connections. Other simple steps include researching to get to know more about your company and arriving early on the first day.
2. Adjusting to the Learning Curve
Learning new tools and methods can look like a very steep uphill battle, especially when entering a new field. Stress is expected, but so are setbacks and surprises. Some companies understand that most employees will encounter this at some point, and can provide training, meetings, and even coaching. But when those avenues aren’t enough, simple methods exist to ease the burden.
What to do:
Remember that the learning curve is temporary, and give yourself some months to adjust. For now, focus on what you can control. You have full control over whether or not you are going to ask for help. If you’re afraid of looking weak, the truth is seeking your coworkers’ advice is often the best way to build relationships and show them that you care about their insight. Just be mindful of their time and their roles, and thank them for their help. Here are some do’s and don’t’s to strategically ask for help.
3. Information Overload
It’s natural. You’ve memorized the schedule, the common procedures, and even some of your coworker’s names—but then the job starts, and a new rush of information unfurls. Information overload is also known by Workplace Psychology as IFS, or Information Fatigue Syndrome. Very prominent in new employees, its symptoms can include loss of concentration, reduced productivity, and even a weakened immune system.
To reduce these stressors, it helps to set priorities; focus on information that is relative and important, and accomplish tasks one at a time. An easy way to do this is with the ABC’s of Organization method. These measures can simplify big challenges into manageable tasks, reducing the amount of stress involved in transitioning into a new role.
4. Trouble Acclimating
A new position comes with all of the stressors of having new coworkers, job responsibilities, expectations, and a new company culture to follow. You may find yourself ruminating over job performance and social interactions with officemates. But before pulling your hair out and asking “What have I done?”, consider the following steps.
What to do:
Acclimating to a new role can take anyone out of their comfort zone. But when it happens, it’s important to remind yourself that this is part of the transition. An effective way to refocus your thoughts is through gratitude exercises. Take a break to think or write to yourself the favorable things that have happened since this transition. In reminding yourself that you are actually in a good place, you train yourself to think of brighter possibilities instead of the intimidating “what if’s”. This shift in perspective will give you a sense of determination by the time you are ready to work again.
5. Waning Confidence
It can be difficult to feel confident as the newbie. You don’t know anyone. You’ve made mistakes during training and what if you’re just not good enough? The first day jitters can cause a relentless spew of negative self-talk. If you’re not careful, you’ll start to wholeheartedly believe your inner critic, wondering how you were even hired in the first place.
What to do:
When you feel your confidence slipping, get into the habit of using words of affirmation. Create your own version of this list to repeat to yourself on days when that inner critic is too loud. Keeping a balanced, healthy perspective of yourself is the key to feeling more confident at work. While repeating mantras to yourself does not work like magic, the act of diminishing negative self-talk each day can make all the difference in how you view yourself and your success in the new position. Confidence in the workplace can make every day at work productive and invigorating, and leave a lasting impression on coworkers and management.
The challenges of starting a new job are undoubtedly present, but hopefully, you feel better prepared to deal with them now. At KnowledgeCity, we provide a range of online training solutions from our Interpersonal Communication course to our Business Etiquette and Professionalism course. Try it free to access the tools you need to get ahead.