Instant Pain Relief for Your New Job & Onboarding Experience
(Or How Not to Feel Like an Idiot for 6 Months)
As always, I’m going to be brutally honest here … I absolutely HATE (and I don’t use that word lightly, so I’ll say it again) HATE starting a new job. From really getting under the skin of the role detail, to meeting the people I’d be working most closely with and everything in-between, the whole process fills me with complete dread.
Hands up if you feel my pain! Thought so, I expect it’s one of the main reasons we prefer to stay in the safety of our comfort zones and rarely move on.
Let me be clear; it’s not the new challenges or learnings I fear, those things excite me. It’s my personality type that holds me back – my pride. I absolutely love being the subject matter expert. The one who knows the role inside out, the quirks and skills of every team member, the available resources and how best to optimise them. I ‘teach to learn’ and that’s when I really thrive.
Being the fish out of water, having to constantly ask questions until I’m empowered with all the answers, this is really uncomfortable ground for me. For people who encounter me in the day-to-day, I’m sure that will come as a big surprise.
On the outside; I may come across as confident, self-assured, unphased, and ready to take on any task, which is true most of the time. Yet inside, I’m filled with doubt, dread, and of course the old ‘did I make the right decision’ question which keeps tapping a sharp nailed finger at my forehead.
I’m sure you’ve been there too. The job where you turn up and no one is there to greet you -no one knows you’re starting – no one gets your name right. Then you’re shown to a desk, given some random things to do, and you spend the next few months desperately trying to stay afloat. Learning from your (many) mistakes as you go. Sound familiar?
Then, finally, after six months of pain, you’re in your groove. People are coming to you with questions, and you’re back on top of the world. If only we had a fast-forward button to get through that first 6-month nightmare eh?
It’s because of my own personal experiences of this that I have a deep passion for ensuring people have a welcoming, productive, and enjoyable onboarding experience in their role.
Getting it right is a ‘win-win’ for everyone. The company doesn’t waste money by losing people in the first few months of pain, people ‘ramp up’ faster, meaning they are more productive, and it makes for a happier more positive work environment all round.
If you’re nodding along thinking, yep, that’s me, then read on, I hope you can take some of the following suggestions into your next onboarding experience.