Starting a new job can be a stressful time, whether it’s your first job out of college or taking on a more senior role. All companies have their own acronyms and systems that can make you feel like you’re on the outside looking in when you enter the door.
Here are three tips I would offer to new employees about how to hit the ground running:
► Don’t try to be somebody you’re not:
Your company would not have hired you if you were not exceptional. So be true to who you are, be comfortable being who you are, and be comfortable letting your voice be heard. With everything so new when you start, it’s easy to lose your confidence and not feel like yourself. It’s vital that you dig-in and re-invest in who you are. Have faith that you are at your new job for a reason, and that your new employer wants you to be you.
► Be comfortable not knowing the answer:
The questions you ask are more important than the answers you have. So be intellectually curious and ask questions about everything. Don’t be shy if you don’t understand an acronym or if you don’t understand why something is done a certain way. Instead, question it! A good employer will welcome those questions because your fresh eyes are bringing new insights into the company. Too many companies get used to doing things a certain way, sometimes to their detriment – and your questions force a healthy re-examination of whether the old way is the best way.
► Don’t be afraid of making a mistake:
In any job, there will be things you don’t know and areas outside your comfort zone. Don’t shy away from these. Instead, move into your learning zone and treat failure the same way you treat success – as an opportunity to learn. Mistakes lead to experience, experience leads to wisdom, wisdom leads to instinct and instinct leads to faster decision making. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re doing yourself a disservice – and just as importantly, you are doing your new company a disservice as well.
Starting a new job is never easy, but if you are true to yourself, ask questions and aren’t afraid to mistakes – you’ll prove to both yourself and your employer why you are exceptional.