We’ve all been there before: right back at the starting line for a new prospective job role or a whole new career altogether. Scary, nerve-wracking and exhilarating are some unavoidable emotions. There is no doubt your brain has some choice words for you:
Here’s what your brain may be shouting:
- “Whatever fueled your hair-brained decision to leave your stable job?”
- “You had decent benefits.”
- “You knew everyone and had a rapport; now you have to start over.”
- “You had the potential to move up the ladder. Does a R-A-I-$-E mean anything to you?”
- “Why are you stressing me out with your existential ‘I have to follow my dream’, midlife or whatever crisis?!”
Your response is probably (and in this order):
- “But I wasn’t happy or satisfied with my work situation.”
- “I will regret it if I don’t do this.”
- “What is there to lose OR gain?”
There’s plenty to lose or gain when starting a new career path. First, why do people jump jobs so often in today’s society?
Trends in Job Retention
Despite all of these head games hampering people who want to ‘take the leap’, changing jobs or careers is not all that uncommon.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person switches jobs about 12 times in their career. That translates to about a new job every 5 years, if you consider retiring at 65. People are not staying at one job for years upon years and retiring from them like they used to.
However, that does not mean that there is no such thing as company culture! In fact, companies focus heavily on collaboration and team building within their infrastructure in order to garner the highest success rates for their business. Why? Because there is no “I” in success.
Based on the current trends in job retention, it is even more crucial to have clear company culture standards and practices, especially when on-boarding new hires.
On the flip side, it’s important for a new hire to remember that, honestly, it does take time to get settled. Although this place may be a career stepping-stone, do settle yourself in and get a little cozy with the people and culture. It’s key for success personally and professionally.
(Re)Integrating into a New Company:
Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. You left your old job after ‘insert number’ years, and now you’re starting over, pursuing your career goals full on. You are ready to hit the curb running, but you need to take a breath and slow it down.
Here are some of the things you should consider as you enter this new arena:
- Slow down because there is a learning curve
- Collaboration is key
- Be open to critical feedback
- Build a positive coworking community
The Learning Curve
You have to re-learn the system, and it is no easy task. First of all, get used to asking questions and make no apologies. Make sure that you understand what the expectation is for yourself, your peers and your superiors. There are tons of internal system operations that you have to learn how to navigate while also fulfilling your job role. Your coworkers will definitely understand your position, since they’ve all been there before.
You, your peers and your management team will thank you later for bombarding them with questions. Try to do your best, but communicate when you are struggling or feel lost in the fray. Your coworkers are happy to help and provide feedback. Before you know it, you will get into the swing of the everyday systems.
In the workplace, nobody is an island, especially the new hire. You want all the help that you can get! For example, most work in an ad agency is split up into projects that are assigned to several different people based off of their job role: graphic designers, copywriters/editors, marketing coordinators, etc.
Collaboration is necessary for the benefit of the project and thus, your company. Not only that, working with other people makes you think critically. Brainstorming and creativity thrive in this type of versatile environment.
As a new hire, you and your peers must develop a working rapport built on the shared interest of your job goals. You want each other to succeed so that the company can succeed. Take that into consideration as you collaborate with people. Collaboration requires trust, conversation, and especially honest criticism.
Accepting Critical Feedback
Remember that learning curve? You, dear new hire, are riding it like a roller coaster. It’s easy to feel like you are being pulled in all different directions with the abundance of information coming your way. Reminders of your little mistakes or royal cock-ups from coworkers can make you feel like a failure. And let’s face it, people hate to fail.
In order to collaborate with other people, you must learn to listen and internalize critical feedback. Many ideas in the room can clash with one another, and it’s ok, just so long as you spin your opinion in a way that is advantageous for the whole team. Critical feedback is an excellent tool for teaching and learning from others. It also builds mutual trust amongst peers. Take feedback from senior employees as a way to grow and contribute more meaningfully to your job. Statistics show that encouraging one another to succeed is a big indication of a healthy work environment.
Build Meaningful Relationships
All work and no play make YOU and everyone else very dull. The key to a healthy, professional environment is peer-to-peer organic interactions. In short, your personality comes out. New hires must remember that time is vital to this step. Your coworkers will most likely be friendly on the surface level, but you have to take the initiative to get to know them.
Participate in work activities and have silly conversations with your coworkers. Go for coffee or shoot nerf guns around 4:49 pm as the day winds down. When you learn about your coworkers, it makes collaboration, critical feedback and that learning curb so much less daunting. Your team becomes critical to how you thrive on a personal and professional level.
Office Space: Your New Frontier…For Now
Whether you are just out of college looking for a job or starting over after the last 5-10 years in the same field, you are officially a new hire. Your first steps in your new job role are probably very exciting and overwhelming at times. Time is your most valuable asset in this case as it will help you to cultivate the following with your new workplace personnel: knowledge, collaboration, feedback, and relationships. In the end, it’s not about ‘I’; it’s about sUcceSs.
If your company is looking for a better way to develop internal communications strategies, reach out to Dream Factory.