No matter who you are or what you’re doing, it’s going to be highly unusual to start a new job and not have at least a few nerves and concerns about it. Trying anything new is always a little stressful (and for some, it can be very stressful), and a new job ranks highly in the list of things that make people feel tense and anxious. You’re meeting new people, doing new things, and trying to learn not only the job itself but the company culture too. You have every right to be nervous.
The good news is that if you are as prepared as possible, and you know you’re going to do well, some of these nervous feelings can be abated. You might still be feeling anxious about meeting new people and a different commute to work (or perhaps you’re working from home for the first time), but if you’ve put certain measures in place, you’ll be in a much better position from the start. Read on to find out what some of these measures are.
Have the Knowledge
You might read some tips about changing your career or getting a new job that says you should just apply to anything and everything that you would like to do, and if you get the job, you can then go about preparing for it. Whether you do this or not is entirely down to you; some people find it the ideal way to get ahead, whereas others dislike the thought of this scattergun approach.
No matter how you decide to apply for a job or what makes you choose it over and above another, you’ll need to have the knowledge to do it well. This means – either before or after being given the position – you’ll potentially have to have certain qualifications. Nurse practitioners are a prime example; you can learn more on the job, but you’ll need to have qualifications before you start. Make sure that you are fully prepared and qualified for whatever job it is you’re about to do; it will make things easier for you and safer all around.
Don’t Demand Too Much
When you are an employee, you are entitled to a good working environment, a safe place to be, and plenty of support. Sometimes to get what you need, you’ll need to make demands of your employer, asking for better furniture or equipment or requesting time off for training.
Although this is important, and it’s certainly something you should do, it’s not wise to do this immediately. Give yourself some time to settle in and really understand what is happening in the workplace. It might be that your boss is waiting for you to be part of the team before offering any kind of incentive or training, for example. Once you are more fully integrated, you can then ask the important questions, but if you do it straight away before you have a chance to see how the business works, this might be looked upon as a bad thing, even if the outcome is a good one.
Set Healthy Boundaries
How you start your job is how you’re going to go on with it, so it’s crucial that you set healthy boundaries as soon as possible. This means that you set limits on how late you work, whether you answer emails after a certain time, how many breaks you have, and you know when to say no when you need to. The sooner you can put these self-made rules in place, the better. If you say yes at the start and then try to change the dynamic later on, you’ll find it’s much more difficult to do so.
Of course, you do need to know what’s expected of you as well. If you’re saying no to things that are actually in your job description and even in your contract, that’s not a good thing. This means it’s vital you understand exactly what your job entails right from the start so you can set those healthy boundaries without compromising your career.
Create Good Time Management Skills
Sometimes work can start to pile up, and before you know it, you’ve got lots to do, and your boundaries are being pushed further and further as you try to catch up with it all. This is what can happen if you don’t have good time management skills, and so it’s important to create those time management skills immediately, as soon as you see what your volume of work is and how you intend to manage it.
Some of the most useful time management techniques include:
- Prioritizing projects and tasks
- Making a to-do list
- Scheduling blocks of time dedicated to one specific job
- Saying no to additional work (that isn’t in your remit)
- Negotiating deadlines
If you can utilize as many of these techniques as possible, you’ll find that you are much better able to handle your work in a timely, efficient manner, and you won’t have to compromise on quality either, which will help you achieve much more.
It’s also important to ask for help if you need it. We’re all human, and being afraid to ask for assistance will only make things worse; if your manager doesn’t understand why you need some help, then they might not be very good at their jobs, and you may need to have a re-think about whether or not you’ve chosen the right place to work. If they are the ones giving you more and more work without checking in to see if things are all right, then you definitely need to say something.
When you start a new job, you’re not going to know exactly what to do right away. Even if you know how to do the work, you’re not going to know when lunch is, where the bathroom is, what’s expected at the end of the day, who the people are you’re working with, and much more. Ask questions so that you don’t have to guess (and potentially make a mistake), and that way, you’ll soon gather all the information you need to settle in and be comfortable in your job.
This is very important. If you don’t ask questions, you might make mistakes, and that won’t be an auspicious start to your new job. The more you know at the beginning, the sooner you can just get on with the tasks you’re being asked to do, and you’ll feel much more comfortable and happier about your new position.