Adjusting to your new role

Posted in Blog on 12 Mar 2020

If you are lucky enough to be starting a job during this time, you face an interesting challenge. You may find yourself starting your new job from home. And the chances are good that your new employer’s onboarding process was not designed for that situation and adapting that process is unlikely to be their top priority during this crisis. 

The following tips should help ease your new job anxiety and ensure that you are fully adjusted to your new role, setting you up for success!  

Take your time…

    If possible, take some time between leaving your old job and beginning your new one. The extra breathing room will give you the space to mentally transition and help prepare you for your start-date. Sometimes this isn’t always possible; if there is just a couple of days in between finishing your old job and starting your new one make sure to take it easy. The more refreshed you are the better – you’ll be in much more of a positive mood and more able to process the changes.

    Come with an open mind…

    To fully embrace change you should always keep an open mind. Even highly skilled professionals can learn new things from different environments. There may be new technology, systems and procedures to master which differ from those you used when working for your former employer or that you used within your past position. It’s important to realise that each business has their own team dynamic and methods of working which correspond with the company’s ethos and priorities; welcome this and try to understand why such differences exist. Remember – you would not have been hired unless the business thought you were a cultural fit so do not try and change the core elements of who you are to fit in… be yourself! However, be wary to the fact that there may be some unconscious habits you may still harbour.

    Schedule a lot of brief check-ins with colleagues… 

    One of the hardest things about starting with a new company is that each organization has a culture of its own. And that culture is often made up of unspoken goals and norms and is often wrapped up in a unique language that members of your new team have already learned to speak with ease. In my consulting work, I’ve often been baffled by terms that employees regularly use inside companies but have no meaning outside it. 

    You learn these subtle aspects of the workplace through everyday interactions with colleagues, hearing conversations and having discussions about what other people are working on. You pick up on workplace jargon and you surmise from these conversations what activities are valued and what styles of work are appreciated. 

    Relax into your new role…

    We all want to impress when we start somewhere new but going from 0 to 100 is not expected (and not healthy). Taking your time and working to your own pace, especially in the first few weeks, will help you adjust in the sense that you will not become overwhelmed – after all it would be disadvantageous to burn out so soon after starting your new role! As a new starter, an adjustment period is expected, especially if you undergo training programmes. Take the time to settle in – talk to your new colleagues to get a feel for your new team and say yes to social events that will help with your integration, this presents yourself as someone who is engaged and enthusiastic.

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions…

    Many think that asking questions is an admission of defeat, this is untrue. If anything, asking questions highlights your desire to succeed and shows that you are a confident communicator. Employers want their new starters to feel comfortable and welcomed, so struggling in silence is not beneficial to either party – whether it is a simple case of knowing where the toilets are or a technical question about how the database works.

    Moreover, asking your new colleagues questions within social environments shows that you are interested in developing your internal network and more importantly becoming part of the team. 

    For more helpful career insights, visit our blog or contact our team of experts. Know someone else in need of a job - by referring a friend you could get a £100 referral voucher... check it out here.


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