This article was originally created for The Odyssey Online and has been published here with the author’s permission.
Starting a new job is tough, no matter what role it is. You’ve got a new boss, you’re meeting new people, you’re doing new things, making mistakes, and all of these are making it a lot harder to relax and are making your new work that extra bit tiring. Have no fear: this is all normal, even though it admittedly does kinda suck. While making mistakes is inevitable, and you’ll be experiencing different hardships, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world: it just means you need to learn how to deal with them no matter what they are!
1. Learning everyone’s names… forgetting everyone’s names
[Credit: Tenor.com]It’s a new environment with people you have probably only just met if you haven’t already done some training with them, so it’s going to take some time getting used to names. However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably just end up forgetting names straight away or get some of them wrong.
That’s OK, and it happens to everyone, but aim to really learn someone’s name and you’ll have less trouble, and also help build rapport with your fellow colleagues. Ron White, the 2009 and 2010 winner of the USA Memory Championship (something I will never, ever achieve) says that when we try and recall names we often fail because we weren’t actually listening.
To change this, as soon as you’ve been introduced to someone White suggests you ask yourself ‘what’s their name?’ This can seem odd, but doing so forces you to focus on the person you’re being introduced to, and that can really aid retaining a person’s name.
If possessing a less than helpful memory isn’t helping, you can always try certain techniques to help you remember. One method is to not only repeat the name of the person to yourself (away from them, so they don’t think you’re attempting some sort of unholy chant), and use their name in a conversation or interaction with them.
For example, “Hey, Zainab, do you know where I can find ‘X’?”
With a little practice and dedication, you’ll get the hang of it!
2. Learning what your job actually is
[Credit: Know Your Meme]
By this, I’m referring to just how different things seem when you first apply for a job. I’ll provide a recent example from my own career: I now work for TJX Europe as a Distribution Associate in one of its locations, and from the job name and description I developed an idea of how it would be.
I was pretty close, but I didn’t expect just how physically demanding the work would be (but, it’s a gym where I get paid to work out, though); the types of people I would be working with (I incorrectly assumed I would be the only student); and what I was going to be doing (turns out there’s a lot more to ‘processing’ than just lifting boxes).
While I did understand the role I was entering into and read my job description (a round of applause for me, please) anyone entering a role is going to make assumptions as to what the job will be like. More often than not, it’s a little different to what you’d expect, and maybe even entirely different, but that might end up being rewarding and provide hidden bonuses you didn’t expect (again, free gym, folks).
That shouldn’t stop you from trying your best to succeed in your new role, however: ensure you’re asking questions if you’re unsure of something, and ask your fellow colleagues for help if needed. It doesn’t hurt to make mistakes, either, but what does hurt is not learning from them, so try to use these blunders to your advantage: learn where you went wrong, analyze what you can do to avoid it happening again, and, most importantly, congratulate yourself on aiming to do better. It’s now secured me a permanent contract, so I think it works pretty well.
3. Wow, new work sure… is… tiring… Zzzzz.
Starting a new job can really take a lot out of you, and when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. You’re maybe in a new department or location, trying to get used to how things are and where to go; maybe even how to get to work in the first place!
You’re conversing with new people and making new friends. You’re learning new things, and taking in tons of information about the company, your job role, and you’re slowly starting to get the hang of how things work there. Heck, maybe you’re stressed at the same time: being fearful of making mistakes, as most employees experience, also drains a lot of your energy and just makes the push to the end of the day a little more effortful.
By the end of your first week, you may even start to feel worried about this. Maybe you’ll think you’re not cut out for the role because you’ve made a few mistakes, or maybe you’re a little slow at what you’re doing right now. You may feel a little more anxious, and you may feel pretty lethargic when you’re off work, and that might enhance the feeling that the work isn’t cut out for you. Listen:
Starting a new job is tough, and it’s the little things that can add up and make things feel overwhelming and it’s going to make you feel drained. But, you’ve totally got this: you may have had similar work before, and, if not, it’s an even greater achievement that you’ve come this far. Again, you’re going to make mistakes, but that’s OK!
Practicing these techniques, and learning from your mistakes not only benefits your employment performance by removing your stress and enhancing your work ethic but benefits YOU as well—your new knowledge and skills will come into play in far more situations than you realize.
And, in case you forget, repeat it to yourself: