The Great Realization: Starting a Job
The hard part is getting started. You’ve evaluated what’s important in a job, you’ve looked for it, and you’ve found it. You’ve stepped into the opportunity because you wanted it, you had to, or, maybe by chance, it just seemed like the right thing to do – so, you said “yes”. So, what is it really like starting at the job?
I’m not going to explore the application process, or the layers of reference checks, multiple interviews and hiring practices. That would have far too many elements specific to the job, market, organization and/or industry. No, let’s say, that was what it was. You said “yes” and so did the company.
As the voice from the old GPS device says, “You have arrived.” Now what?
Let’s be real, emotionally speaking, being new to something is probably one of the most exciting times in our lives. The “yes” both parties offered, ushers in additional “yeses.” Yes, that excitement, energy and enthusiasm is laced with degrees of fear, uncertainty, and maybe even a little anxiety. Yes, what lies ahead is unknown, or maybe instead, the job is familiar but the leadership, team dynamic and company culture are what is unfamiliar. And yes, an important curiosity sets in – how will we be seen and will our needs balance with the needs of the job? That first day can be a mix of feelings and expectations.
Dive Into Your Onboarding Experience
My advice, first off, get started by consuming the onboarding experience like you are filling in a blank slate. All organizations have some type of onboarding pathway. From some type of orientation to general company requirements and guidelines, to job specific task review. It’s a first look at the job and the working environment; how will you embrace the information?
Replace Training with Learning
While I am not fan of the word ‘training’, this will undoubtedly represent the first stage of your job, so next, I advocate the word ‘learning’, and an always learning mindset. Develop a hunger to learn and keep learning. Ask questions and foster a posture of self-discovery. I even recommend keeping some type of journal or note-taking resource to capture all the insight, ideas, and best practices. And keep adding to it as your move further into the job. How will you absorb what you need to know?
Explore How the Organization Defines the Job
Look at how the organization defines certain aspects of the job. Look at how they define things like standards, accountability, communication, development, time and task management, follow up, follow through and success. Ask how expectations and performance are measured and coached. own the opportunities to grow. How will value be seen and appreciated?
Connect With People
Seek out people who represent success within the organization. Create some ‘mentoring’ relationships with individuals who are successful and pick their brain about what they do and how they do it. While there is no guarantee that what they do will be what you do, it can provide a deeper insight into what can help provide best practices in what you get to do each day. How will you establish relationships as you begin your new job?
Stay Authentic When Starting a Job
As with anything you do in life, bring who you are into that first stage of the journey. Be willing, honest, and open. Be authentic. You were hired because of who you are and what you bring to the organization. Yes, there are certain things all employees do – whether it is the company mission, core values, and specific job expectations – we each bring a unique contribution to the overall organizational experience and outcome. How will you bring your purpose and passion into your new position?
I have two daughters and they are wired very differently. One will over-think and contemplate everything before starting. The other is more like me. Jump in and learn as you go. One is not necessarily better than the other, just different. There is no perfect way to get started. The thing is, you have to get started, and even though the job may not the job you see yourself in for the long haul, you are here now. How will you step into the next part of your journey?
Today, if you are new and onboarding, go in full steam. Figure things out. Allow others to help you square away. Be a sponge. If you already in the organization and you are engaging in a new job, maybe you need to re-invigorate that curiosity. In a way, it represents our realization that we can benefit by being new every day and embrace the possibilities.
New day, new opportunities y’all!
The Great Realization
If you are new to our blog, make sure to check out the other posts in our series called The Great Realization. If you’re in the process of finding a job, click here to look at our open positions.
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