New Job-Self Doubts
After all the hard work and effort to land this job, now that you’re here, you’re not so sure it’s right for you. You had your checklist of important criteria for the dream job and dream company, which you checked off, so why are you feeling so queasy?
Did you make the wrong choice?
You probably made the right choice and right now your sense of discomfort has to do with the transition you are going through.
You have to understand the mechanics of change.
There is the event or action. In your case, the event was taking a new job.
Then, you have the transition or emotional adjustment that goes with the change.
We all too often mistake our discomfort during new job adjustment for a belief that we have gotten into a bad job situation. As a culture which isn’t too oriented toward the impact of change (other cultures are) we aren’t all that savvy about these normal reactions. We also aren’t too patient, especially when discomfort sets in. We want it to go away; and when it doesn’t, we may over-react.
The best tactic to take at a time like this is to follow a few tips for managing your transition:
Understand the transition process. Transition is all about you adjusting and becoming fully integrated into your new job. During this period of time, you will probably feel some loss due to no longer being in your previous job – you are in a type of mourning for what came before, even if it was bad. You aren’t yet comfortable with where you are, because you don’t know enough of anything to be routine or predictable. You haven’t yet formed any close relationships; which means you’re missing a support structure. While all of this might not comfort you, simply knowing what to anticipate is half the battle. It’s like your doctor telling you that you’ll be in “some discomfort” after surgery. That fact alone doesn’t make it go away, but you at least know what to expect. And there is a certain comfort in knowing you’re normal.
Be patient. We aren’t a very patient group. We’re used to fast results and gratification. Right now you need to develop some patience about how quickly all the dots will connect. They won’t connect any faster with anxiety about this new job.
Expect surprises. There will be things you will discover about the job, people or place of business that might really turn you off. Expect that to be the case. What you discover could dishearten you, but rather than leave in disgust, address it as a challenge to tackle. No place or position is going to be perfect; and your success will be dependent on your ability to adapt and prevail.
Expect setbacks. There will come a day when you think you have a handle on things and are feeling like you have command of your domain. Then, something will happen that will vividly remind you that you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s very natural also. How you handle the occasional setback is as important as how you handle victories. As long as you are continuing your learning curve and realize it truly takes a while to absorb it all, you are moving forward. This doesn’t signal a bad fit for you.
There is no magic amount of time for you to move through your new job transition. Generally speaking, by 3 months you should have learned most of your job and are contributing with confidence. You still have a learning curve and you’re not yet as fully comfortable as you would like. Usually, a year is the timeframe to fully assess whether or not this job is right for you. Hang in there! It will get better.