Starting a new job can pose a bit of a challenge and usually requires a great deal of effort. Often, you try to make good first impressions with your new coworkers, sync up with your manager, learn new products and workflows, get accustomed to a new culture, learn the skillsets of people to know who to direct questions towards, and more. All these tasks can be extremely stressful. On top of all that, as the world increasingly shifts towards a work from home and virtual environment, all these issues can be exacerbated and make you feel isolated. Thankfully, your experience doesn’t have to be like this.
I joined Perficient in the middle of May as an Associate Technical Consultant working as a front-end developer along with many other new hires with different roles from various other business areas. Not knowing what to expect, I had multiple meetings that ranged from onboarding meetings with all the new hires to one-on-ones with my coworkers, manager, and even directors. The nerves and anxiety were undoubtedly present, but those feelings started to melt away as I began talking to more people. Whether you’re a new hire or someone helping with onboarding, my hope is that you or others you help find some of these tips and lessons that I learned in my first 4 months at Perficient beneficial.
#1: Meet People
It can feel unnerving working with so many people that you don’t know and feeling like you’re left out. Many of us shy away from others and keep to ourselves. However, there are lots of reasons to open up and get to know others. First off, everyone has something to share and teach you. Conversely, they can potentially learn something from you too. Try to schedule some one-on-one calls with people instead of simply messaging them all the time for better clarity on issues and to develop and foster new relationships. Getting to know people and even making friends will give you a sense of belonging and makes all the difference. On top of that, it will make you feel more confident as you join the community. Meeting people will help combat the isolation that can easily creep up on you.
#2: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
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The pressures of learning a new system, processes, or skills are absolutely a struggle sometimes. This may make reaching out and asking for help intimidating. Unfortunately, a large majority of people struggle with imposter syndrome, and this is even more common in the beginning stages of a job. It’s easier to suffer silently and try to figure things out for yourself rather than asking for some assistance, but in trying to shoulder all that weight, you not only hurt yourself but the team as well. I made this mistake plenty of times in my career and am still working on this, but I have found that plenty of people are more than happy and willing to help. In receiving help, you develop new skills faster along with building a relationship with others. As a result, things get done faster, your team trusts you more, and you feel more confident. It’s a win all around.
#3 – Stay Curious
One thing that I have always done in my life is learn. As cheesy as it sounds and as many times as you’ve probably heard it, never stop learning. Here at Perficient, when you aren’t on a project, you have the opportunity to learn and do training. I’ve spent a decent amount of my bench time watching video tutorials on Udemy or on YouTube to further develop my skills and even learn new relevant skills. Perficient is gracious enough to provide Udemy business accounts for their employees who wish to utilize the tool because they genuinely want to invest in their people. Not only will consistently learning help you with your career, but it expands to other facets of your life as well, making you more well-rounded and giving you a better sense of fulfillment.
#4 – Give Yourself Time
Last but not least, be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace because this is a new experience. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but just as you’ll have plenty of help from others, you need to help yourself as well. Take the time you need to learn about your company, understand the structure and processes, and meet everyone. Allow yourself to take breaks so that you don’t burn yourself out. Be sure to eat lunch, get some fresh air, and don’t keep work on your mind 24/7. Remind yourself that this drastic change doesn’t happen overnight. This is a multi-step process that requires a lot of time and patience in order to become an effective team member. Remember, if you take care of yourself and do great work, everyone will reap the rewards of your hard work.
Transitioning into a new role certainly doesn’t have to feel daunting and unpredictable. Instead, it can be a smooth and pleasant experience. I hope the lessons discussed not only helps provide you with some stability in navigating a new job but can also be utilized in other aspects of life.
If you are starting a new position, know someone that is changing jobs, or are helping others with their transition, feel free to share this post or share your own experiences in the comments section.