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The Great Realization: Getting Into a Job

We are what we repeatedly do. That is from Aristotle, and a very clear way to describe what takes shape after we start the job. We begin to establish some type of rhythm. Call it a routine of sorts. We take what we were taught and bundle it with what reality gives us, common sense dictates, and experience provides. It becomes best practice. Before long, we are finding our balance in what, why, how and to what extent of our job. 

As a consultant, I have worked with organizations implementing significant management development programs. I have found significant change takes time. In addition, when there is some type of cultural reformation, like new expectations regarding guiding principles, core values and company mission, it can take longer. I learned the lesson of time, and found for individuals as well as teams, it can take as long as two years before select behaviors become somewhat second nature. 

Also, I have often seen new sales reps and their understanding of pretty much any standardized selling process, that the time for them to get up to speed selling and be making money (a.k.a. enjoying commission success) can be about six months. Six months whereby they execute the targeted behaviors without prompting, shadowing, and begin having successful sales interactions. 

Time And Success Are Job Relative

Time does not determine competency, and competency does not guarantee success. After we start a job, I believe what we look for is simply understanding what we need to get done in the day. So, we need to give our self some time and space to build up the proficiencies, define how we see success. 

Learning takes time when you are getting into a new job.
Learning takes time when you are getting into a job.

Always Be Learning

Typically, in organizations, training is in place to help team members get what they need to do their job well. The challenge is two-fold. One, it is also typically seen as an event. One and done. Box checked. The other is training can be viewed as ‘aspirin’. Something’s not right in the business, throw people in training – that will solve it. What if we focus on a mindset of always learning in our job. What if the onboarding element was just that. An element of a blended, multi-faceted, ongoing learning strategy. How might we reach out for new experiences and points of view? 

Peer-To-Peer Relationships

OK, this can be a critical element to our job – we are not alone. Even if the tasks and the function of our job separates us from others, we must not isolate ourselves. I have been a remote worker most of my career. My home has been my office for decades. I need to actively involve people in my “doing-ness”. To receive feedback, insight, correction, and challenges from others. I am not just talking about my boss or clients at my job. I am talking about colleagues, peers in the business, industry cohorts, and the like, I need their input to influence my output. 

Learning takes time when you are getting into a new job.
Coworkers communicate in a cafe.

Don’t Lose The Lesson

Let’s be real, failure has got to be an accepted, appreciated, and allowed aspect of our job. Especially at the beginning. I have found failure to be more valuable than success as it provides a broader perspective, creates time to pause, reflect, pivot, and then re-engage. Here’s a two-part tip, no matter what, own the outcome. Process the lesson and keep moving forward. 

Define What You Do In Your Job

Maybe the first, only, and most important thing to do at this stage of our journey is to embrace what we get to do. Fully vet our understanding of this job. And more than just the day-to-day stuff, go deeper than that. How are we seeing this as part of our professional journey? One that aligns with our purpose, or, at least, one that allows what we do to contribute to, hone, and craft our purpose. 

I love what James Clear, author of Atomic Habits shared. “Some things are a job, others are a craft. The primary difference is not the task, but the enthusiasm and curiosity put into the task. The more engaged and interested you are, the more it becomes a craft.”  

Yes, getting started can be the most challenging part of the job in the employee life cycle. Its like riding a bike. A lot of energy and effort is in play to get the peddles going. We work hard at first to start the movement forward. Then, we rely on balance and timely reapplication of action to keep moving. It’s not as hard as starting, but it takes constant attention and consistent follow through. Sometimes we coast, sometimes we have to pedal harder. It depends. Just like getting into a job. 

Smiling woman working at her desk in an office.

Well, we’ve onboarded, and oriented our self into the company, team, and job, now what? It’s a day-by-day, one step at a time process. Of establishing rhythm and routine. It’s the next part of the employee life cycle. It’s the time dedicated to what, why, how, and to what extent. As well as the who, where, and when. It’s a realization that we are syncing who we are with what we do, and how we do it best. 

The Great Realization

This is the fourth episode in the series, The Great Realization. If you are new to The Great Realization, check out our other posts in this series here.

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