You have started your new job, are a week into it, and realize you are either in over your head or your company is offering little training and support — worst case, both. Being thrown into the deep end in a new job with unclear expectations or mentoring can be difficult and stressful. But there are specific steps you can implement to take the reins and get a handle on the situation.
In this YouTube Video, find out the first two steps you need to take in order to get your head above water. Then follow it with the advice below:
1. Try to get a handle on expectations. These may be unclear and part of why you feel thrown into the deep end. Find out as much as you can about expectations from your immediate supervisor, peers, and anyone else. Keep your ear to the ground when you are talking casually in the lunchroom, for example, to understand not just what’s expected of your role, but how the organization works and what the company expects of its employees. How does your job fit into the bigger picture of the company and its goals? How often, when, and by what measurements will you be evaluated? Find out what the one-month, three-month, and six-month plans or goals are for your role and your department if you do not already know. If they aren’t established, come up with what you feel makes sense and have a meeting with your boss about them to ensure you’re on the right track. Part of why your job is overwhelming may be because clear goals haven’t been defined for your role. If that is the case, you take the reins and work on them. Then find out if they’re correct.
2. Although you may be frustrated, stay the course with communication. Set a tone right away for open communication with your boss and coworkers — anyone it is appropriate for. This can help you learn the ropes and understand your role as quickly as possible on your own. Ask questions. Let everyone know you welcome feedback. Set up regular meetings with the appropriate people so you can get a handle on what you need to learn along the way.
3. Find a mentor inside or outside the company — both, if you can find them. If you are having trouble understanding your role and the company isn’t providing much training, get it any way you can including finding mentors who can help you learn the ropes. This includes for your role as well as your industry or field. Keep an eye out for someone either within your company or outside (both can be beneficial) who can and is willing to help you get your sea legs.
4. Teach yourself. It may be up to you to train yourself new skills, understand what is expected of you, and even clarify your role if it is not clearly defined. If that is the case and you are choosing to stay in your position to see if it will work out, be proactive. Set your own goals and get their feedback on them. Create a plan for educational development — define the skills you need to have to succeed and approach human resources or your boss with a plan and the courses you want to take.
Being thrown into the deep end at work where you either feel over your heard or the organization lacks structure, or even basic training, can be difficult. Be patient with yourself and give it time. If you are very frustrated and unsure you are willing to stay, set a timeframe for how long you will give it, then add two months because time flies. Having a plan of action will help you feel like you are in the driver’s seat again and not being pulled around, uncertain of what you need to be doing.
Guest Blogger Hallie Crawford is a certified career coach and founder of HallieCrawford.com. Her team of coaches help people find their dream job and make it a reality. She is regularly featured as an expert in the media including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and US News & World Report. Visit her website at www.HallieCrawford.com for more information about her team's career coaching services. Set up a Complimentary Career Strategy Session with Hallie Crawford to get advice on your career goals. *Mention you saw us on Talent Zoo and receive a free bonus if you purchase a product or sign up for coaching.*
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