How To Deal With A New Job

Stepping into the unfamiliar world of a new job can be very stressful.  Getting a promotion can equally nerve-wracking.  So what can you do prepare?

In a recent article from Psychology Today, Dr. Sharon K. Hull, M.D looks at what she believes are the 4 challenges an individual may face when taking on a new work position.  Below I have listed the 4 challenges and added a quick example

Challenge 1: From Trainee to Teacher

It seems like only yesterday you were learning how the jeans fit and how to fold the shirts.  Now you’re being asked to show the ‘newbie’ how to do what you’ve finally perfected. 

Believe it or not, the impression you make on this person you’re about to train will be very important to their future in the company.  Depending on your teaching style you could end up changing their life for the better or worst.  Feeling the pressure yet?

Challenge 2: Imposter Syndrome

At first, this seems like something that would only happen during a promotion, but it’s actually something you’ll have to deal with whether it’s a new job or a new job title.

It’s your first day on the job and that seasoned employee who’s been giving you the eye since you walked in is already whispering to others about how you’re not ‘fill in the blank material‘.  Or how about this one?  You’ve just been promoted to Assistant Manager and immediately hold authority over the employees you used to hang around. 

Yes, you’ve joined in on numerous occasions of bad mouthing the former Assistant Manager, and no that person is you.  Sure some of your former compadres may think they’ve got it made now, but once you pull rank once things will change.

Challenge 3: Going it Alone

From Assistant Manager to Manager.  I’ve noticed that most companies are smart enough to take the person out of their current store or company when this happens. 

The corporate world is a bit different.  Once you become one of the ‘suits’ you could find yourself in charge of people you’ve worked alongside, some of whom you never got along with.  That can go from 0 to 100 real quick.

Retail or corporate, either way, you put it you will not have anyone else to place the blame on or clean up any mistake you’ve made.  It’s all on you.  I can see the sweat dripping from those foreheads right now.

Challenge 4: Avoiding Land Mines

I think the good doctor put this one perfectly.  “In any new job, there’s a lot to learn simply to do the job itself. Equally important is learning the landscape of your new professional home.”

Basically, how do I approach each situation?  That’s right, in addition to making sure you look like you know what you are doing, you will also have to at least try to navigate the terrain without totally falling on your face.

What’s the right way to do this and what’s the wrong way to do this.  Simultaneously dealing with the pressures of both of these things is enough to make some people walk away.

So how do you maneuver through all these obstacles?  It seems impossible that you can prepare for all of this without making a mistake, and there lies your solution.  First, you have to realize that you will make a mistake.

A Tribe Called Quest

If you were to attempt to put the solution for all 4 of these challenges into one umbrella when you open it up it would probably read; RELY ON RELATIONSHIPS.

Human beings are tribalistic by nature.  Believe it or not, we not only want but NEED to help each other.  In every one of these situations, you would be a fool to think you can go at this all alone.  Even the cockiest, most confident person in the world will one day reach a pressure-filled day that they can not handle and barely make it through. 

Without someone to bounce ideas off or go to for advice, you risk the danger of overloading.  Check out this quote from the article.   “You also need professionals you can call on when the gnome on your shoulder, as I call it, raises its head.

Look for a senior colleague in your field or a related field who has been there. Talking to peers, mentors and trusted colleagues will enable you to normalize your experience and feelings and stop gaslighting yourself.”

There you have it.  How do you deal with the stress of a new job?  You hold your head up high and ask those you trust professionally and personally for their support and advice.  After being in every one of the positions I mentioned here, I can tell you from experience that this is the only way to succeed.  Even Jesus looked up to God, right?

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