Starting a new job can bring back “first day of school” feelings. New people, processes and not quite knowing where the toilets are, can send shivers down the spine of even the most self-assured parent.
If you have had a break in your work, through maternity leave, parental leave or a career break, then these feeling can intensify. Even if you have been back at work for a while, leaving the security of a long-standing team can unsettle anyone!
There is a combination of tools, techniques and mind-set tricks that have worked really well with my coaching clients. If you find yourself in the same position, starting over again somewhere new, then take a few moments to read and use.
1. Respect your emotions
Whatever you feel about the upcoming change, it is OK. For some, change is nerve wracking whilst, for others exhilarating and energising. Change is a process you have to work through. In management speak, it is known as a change curve. You move through each section to profess to the next. Some of the curve includes uncertainty; if this uncertainty makes you feel anxious then take control. Ask yourself what you feel uncertain about and what you can do to reduce that feeling? Planning and preparation is key!
2. Get Inducted
There are lots of places that have an induction process as standard; is it “best practise” and enables you to have a settling in period to get acquainted with everything you need to know. However, not everyone does these well or gives you the information you need. Even if you have started a role that is similar to your previous work, it is in a new place, with new people. YOU MUST LEARN! My top five things to insist on within an induction are a) meet with key people (in the organisation, suppliers and clients) b) be given policy and process information with time to review and ask questions c) find out what the company and departmental/team “measures of success” / KPIs are d) IT / Technical aspects – have time to learn and make mistakes e) lastly, but most importantly, what do you want – what are your goals and measures of success?
3. You haven’t forgotten anything
Everything you have learnt and experienced in the time before this role, your skills, work experience and qualification, still exist. They may be rusty and haven’t been accessed in a while, but they are still there. You just need to use them again! The human brain is an organ of habit and routine; so anything you feel out of touch with, you just need to start using again. If you feel that you need to brush up on IT, or to stretch your creative muscles, then plan to practise. Before the role starts, can you take a refresher course – be it read industry papers or practise your presentation skills?
Don’t be afraid to create a personal development plan as part of your job; so many companies have a “culture of continuing professional development” as a behavioural requirement in their staff. Take control.
4. You CAN be more confident
Finish this sentence. I want to be more confident at work in ……
Self-esteem is the back bone to confidence. Trusting in your abilities and knowing you can do something. Build yourself a virtual or real “bragging book”. A portfolio of the incremental evidence that shows you are able to do something. Comments from co-workers, feedback, hard facts (how you have hit targets or reduce costs) ! All of these builds the confidence you can do something.
Where there is a gap – then it takes practise. Push yourself out of your confidence zone and give it a go. You may surprise yourself!
5.Give yourself a break
This is the key to finding your feet in a new job. Make sure you are not cramming too much into your day. The phrase “You can do anything but not everything” comes to mind. How much pressure are you putting on yourself to achieve immediately?
Are you trying to do 26 hours’ worth of “stuff” in a 24-hour window (read this blog to find out)? However much you achieve in your day, you may be left feeling frustrated with what you feel you didn’t achieve rather than what you did.
In short, the answer to being confident in work is evidencing your success, learning new things, pushing yourself out our comfort zone and giving yourself the space to celebrate your achievements!
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