You’ve spent weeks arduously crafting your resume, filling out countless applications, preparing for multiple interviews and you’ve finally accepted an offer. While the job search may be over, it’s important to prepare for the learning curve that lies ahead. As you start a new job, especially if you switched industries, you may not be as competent as you’d prefer, a discouraging fact for many. What follows are four phases you should become familiar with as you acclimate to your new job and strive to become an impactful, competent employee.
Stage 1: Starting a new job is exciting
At this initial stage you’re relieved to be finished with applications and excited to prove yourself as a competent employee. As such, you display a high level of enthusiasm to your managers and coworkers. Perhaps you show up to work early, dress to impress and maintain an optimistic attitude at all times. You also progress through job training and learn about your company’s products, services, management style and culture. As the honeymoon experience reaches its peak, however, ominous clouds of anxiety may start to form as you begin to comprehend how much more you need to learn to become more competent at your job.
Stage 2: Starting a new job requires commitment and learning
During the second and most difficult stage, you’ve confronted the reality of how much you don’t understand in order to perform your job duties competently. It may discourage you by how often you make mistakes or appear unknowledgeable. This discouragement can negatively impact your motivation to work. After all, no one enjoys being an incompetent employee. But rest assured, supportive managers will be patient and encourage you during this phase.
So, what should you do during this phase? Despite the letdowns, it is crucial that you as an employee learn from your mistakes quickly and persevere through the emotions that come with failure. Your future professional self will greatly benefit from sticking it out. In the meantime, find consolation in your increased competence thus far.
Stage 3: Becoming a knowledgeable, confident and competent employee
In this third stage, despite any initial misunderstandings, you’ve learned a tremendous amount about your role in the company, how to mesh with your coworkers and the overall work environment. You probably feel more confident as you look back on your work journey and see how much you’ve grown. Your manager and team members find you a more competent employee, who they can rely on to complete tasks in a timely manner and with much less assistance.
Stage 4: Commitment transforms you into a competent employee
Congratulations on becoming a highly capable employee! After all the time and effort you’ve put into the new job, you can complete much of your work automatically. Your manager is confident that, when delegated tasks, you will deliver results without a lot of additional detailed directions. As a competent member of the team, perhaps it’s time you start asking for more responsibility or working toward a promotion.
Becoming proficient at your profession takes time and hard work. The beginning stages in your new job will be challenging, but do your best to learn something new everyday. Every piece of knowledge will bring you one step closer to becoming a competent employee and team member in your company.